Putin Keeps Hand on Gas Valve

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Ukraine and Russia resolved their natural-gas feud on Thursday in a hard-fought deal that averts the threat of gas shortages in Europe this winter.”

The “European Union, which relies on Russia for more than a third of its gas imports, half of which is piped through Ukraine. Unless Ukraine paid for its gas supplies upfront, Russia had said it wouldn’t reopen taps it shut off in June, a move that threatened to leave many homes in Ukraine and parts of Europe without enough heat this winter.”

But that doesn’t mean what you think.

“The short-term gas deal underscores the close economic ties that bind Europe, Russia and Ukraine despite the conflict in Ukraine.” It may also reflect that American and European sanctions against the novo Soviet Union–oops, I mean Russia–are starting to hurt.

So, the deal may mean that Putin is waiting until it gets cold before cutting the flow.