Russia reportedly planning to cut natural gas exports to European Union countries is a retaliatory move that could work against the Kremlin geopolitically, according to Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies Professor Eugene Finkel.

“This move is both Kremlin's retaliation for Western past support of Ukraine and sanctions on Russia and an attempt to weaponize energy to prevent future sanctions,” Finkel says. “Yet cutting the flow of gas completely could backfire because it will deprive Russia of greatly needed revenue to finance the war and might force EU member states to seek alternative sources of energy with even greater urgency.” 

Finkel is the Kenneth H. Keller Associate Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. His research focuses on how institutions and individuals respond to extreme situations: mass violence, state collapse, and rapid change.