Putin's self-sanctioning of Russian energy supplies will be absorbed by Europe, but Moscow will never be able to replace those customers, Kremlin critic Bill Browder says

Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)Getty Images
Vladimir Putin is only hurting himself by cutting gas supplies to Europe, said Russian-American financier Bill Browder.
That's because Europe can absorb the pain of the energy crisis, but Russia can't easily replace those customers.
"He made an amazing sacrifice of himself that will serve our purposes," Browder said of the gas freeze.
Europe will eventually overcome Russia's natural gas supply cuts, and Moscow will never be able to replace those customers, according to Russian-American financier Bill Browder.
Browder, who has been a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin's regime and has been labeled a "financier Putin wants dead," said the Russian president is only hurting himself and showing signs of desperation by halting the flow of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline . In the end, that would damage the Russian economy more than the European one, Browder said.
“By shutting down the Nord Stream pipeline, he is effectively sanctioning himself. And yes, it will cause Western Europe great pain. It will cause Britain great pain. But that pain can ultimately be absorbed, adjusted and finally disposed of," he told CNBC. "But Putin won't be able to replace customers for all the gas he sells to Europe."
He said 90% of Russian gas exports were sold to European customers before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. But there are limits to how much Russia can shift supplies to other countries, as gas pipelines cannot be easily moved.
This poses a major problem for Russia's economy in the long term, especially as Europe is taking steps to become independent of Russian energy.
"He made an amazing sacrifice of himself for our purposes, ultimately for the purposes of the Ukrainians," Browder said.
Other analysts have suggested that Russia's isolation from the West could slide it into recession or long-term stagnation. However, Browder is not surprised by Russia's cuts in Europe's energy supplies.
“Putin is an extremely vengeful man. He is willing to inflict pain on himself, inflict pain on his enemies... That is [sic] the action of a man who is in despair," he said.
Read the original article on Business Insider

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