- The prospect of Europe getting cut off from Russian gas supplies is starting to get real. The clock is ticking in a standoff over the Kremlin’s demand that its customers in Europe pay in rubles for the fuel, which the region depends on for a fifth of its power generation.
- Payments come due in May, and that’s when the moment of truth arrives
- The fallout would ripple across the continent and beyond.
- Such a surge would put governments and central banks under pressure as they seek to control soaring inflation. The risk is that the mounting cost-of-living crisis intensifies and spills over into wider unrest and a deeper crisis.
- Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said a halt to gas flows from Russia would trigger a serious economic crisis in Europe, leading to the loss of millions of jobs.
- Emerging nations would get squeezed by Europe’s thirst for energy, especially liquefied natural gas, as they would struggle to compete on price.