It’s too late to save Crimea, and possibly half of Ukraine, now that Vlad the Annexer has articulated the Putin Doctrine: Russia will invade any country that “oppresses” its Russian minority.
But Putin’s Doctrine is underpinned by Russia’s oil and natural-gas industry, which provides 70 percent of the country’s export income and 52 percent of its governments revenues. Moscow now controls half the energy market in Europe and is able to adjust prices to punish or reward countries and to keep others quiet.
This strategy has made Russia, with an economy the size of California’s, wealthier than ever but also exceedingly vulnerable. Russia is a petro-economy and little else.
Since Ukraine’s crisis, sanctions have been imposed and its stock market and currency have tanked. But a geopolitical and energy policy shift is needed to stop Putin in his tracks, and only the United States and Canada can flex enough energy muscle to impede the Russian energy juggernaut.
Together, the US and Canada have more oil and natural-gas reserves than Russia or the Middle East.
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