Russia crisis: Ukraine exposes THREE key reasons why Putin will not invade this week

Russia: Expert on key sign of Putin 'getting back to normal'

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Russian President Vladimir Putin looks poised to invade Ukraine, with reports of up to 150,000 troops being stationed at the Russia-Ukraine border. With the West warning of an “imminent” attack and the “massive” economic sanctions, fears have soared that the Kremlin could retaliate by slashing Europe’s gas, of which it supplies up to 40 percent. But Olexandr Scherba, Chief Advisor to the CEO of Ukraine’s gas giant Naftogaz, told that these fears are unwarranted.

He said: “Russia can’t cut or redirect the gas supplies altogether. It can play with the price, but it cannot completely stop.

“It is relying on Europe just as much as Europe relies on Russia.”

This could mean that Russia might want to pause its invasion of Ukraine if it can’t hit back at the West’s sanctions.

But Mr Scherba warned: “On the other hand, once Nord Stream 2 is certified and operational – Russia will be able to destroy Ukraine’s gas transportation system.

“Certifying makes aggression and war more possible and less costly for Putin.”

Nord Stream 2, yet to come online, is the £8billion pipeline that will transit gas from Germany to Russia via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine and Poland on the route.

But with certification delayed, Mr Putin has been furiously pushing for its approval.

Now, Berlin has been hit with a wave of calls to scrap the pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine.

The US, for instance, argues that threats to abandon Mr Putin’s much-wanted pipeline give the West leverage over Russia which may be enough to discourage an attack.

But German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is still yet to explicitly state whether he would do so.

Mr Scherba also seemed to think that Ukraine’s “readiness to fight back” might be another reason why Russia would drawback its troops.

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He told “There are two (more) things that can stop Putin from invading.

“Firstly, Ukraine’s readiness to fight back. Putin is old enough to remember the Soviet Union falling apart under the pressure of an unpopular war in Afghanistan. The war in Ukraine would be even more unpopular and bloodier.”

The Soviet-Afghan War was a conflict between anti-communist Islamic guerrillas and the Afghan communist government, which began in 1978 and eventually led to the overthrow of the government in 1992.

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