Will Putin Make Europe Crumble? — On a Horrible Energy Legacy

Jakub Ferencik
4 min readOct 8, 2022

The former Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, made her first public appearance since Putin’s latest invasion of Ukraine, in early June 2022.

In it, she stated, that she does not feel any responsibility for Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion in late February earlier this year. She rightfully put the blame on Putin.

Yet at the same time, a growing consensus amongst pundits and political analysts has pointed out that German policy towards Russia under Merkel’s tenure was — in retrospect — naïve, and may have inadvertently contributed to Putin’s geopolitical ambitions.

Many others in Europe followed similar energy policies with Russia — which made the West increasingly reliant on Putin and incapable of dissent without serious ramifications.

Here we are. Is the EU about to crumble? What is Germany’s legacy and what might the EU’s future be?

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

Germany is arguably the strongest emblem of Europe’s purposeful integration — and dependency on — Russia’s energy sector, and the subsequent consequences and ramifications in light of the
war in Ukraine.

The German logic resonates with its historical analysis and experience; for Merkel, this integration was meant to make Putin reliant on the EU for political and economic stability.

In turn, the hope was that history would not repeat itself, thus offering an enticing fragment of historical redemption.

That noteworthy and positive motive backfired, however. We now know that the party that has become more reliant in this trade exchange is the EU rather than Russia, even if the Russian economy is currently in tatters as sanctions bite both in the short- and long-term.

Nonetheless, the EU has yet to show where it would replace Russian energy sources in the short term, with US LNG being the latest option currently floated.

In the meantime, the rise in energy prices made sure that Putin benefited from the supply shortages in Europe. So, Germany’s strategy of integration has been criticized, despite its positive intentions.

This integration now means that many politicians in Europe are fearing a cold winter and…

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Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views