Skip to content
Opinion
Javier Blas

In the Energy Markets, Putin Is Winning the War

Europe’s energy crisis will test the resolve of Western governments to curb their addiction to Russian oil and gas.

In the energy markets, he's winning.

In the energy markets, he's winning.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

No matter what indicator you use, Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning in the energy markets. Moscow is milking its oil cash cow, earning hundreds of millions of dollars every day to bankroll the invasion of Ukraine and buy domestic support for the war. Once European sanctions against Russian crude exports kick in from November, the region’s governments will face some tough choices as the energy crisis starts to bite consumers and companies.

Electricity costs for homes and businesses are set to soar from October, as the surge in oil income allows Putin to sacrifice gas revenue and squeeze supplies to Europe. UK prices are likely to jump by 75%, while in Germany some municipal utilities have already warned prices will increase in excess of 100%. Russia has successfully weaponized energy supplies; Western governments will come under increasing pressure to spend billions either subsidizing household bills or, as is already the case in France, by taking control of power companies.