Russia Raises Natural Gas Threat Against Ukraine

In addition to display of arms in Crimea, Russia wields an energy weapon against its neighbor.

As machine guns mounted on armored trucks signaled Russia's takeover of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, Moscow this weekend unsheathed a more subtle, but well-proven, weapon against its insurgent neighbor. (See related, "After Ukraine Crisis, Why Crimea Matters.")

Sergey Kupriyanov, spokesperson for Gazprom, Russia's giant state-owned monopoly, on Saturday ominously reminded Ukraine that it owes the company $1.55 billion—a "huge" debt that it "must" pay back. What's more, he announced that Gazprom might reconsider the steep discount that ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych arranged in December with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That deal allowed Ukraine to tap its leading fuel supplier at a price of $268.50 per thousand cubic meters of gas instead of $400, adding up to $2 billion

Create your free account to continue reading

No credit card required. Unlimited access to free content.
Or get a Premium Subscription to access the best of Nat Geo - just $19
SUBSCRIBE

Read This Next

'World’s worst shipwreck' was bloodier than we thought
World’s first ultrasounds of wild manta rays reveal a troubling truth
Titanic was found during secret Cold War Navy mission

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet