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SHUTOFF THE MONEY – Solution to Stop Putin.

Courtesy of Paul Krugman and the New York Times

Our G-101 Algorithm infers this point: Ukraine can become a sovereign entity with full international recognition only when Russia loses its ability to fund the conflict.

The background: Germany has been warned for decades about the risks of becoming dependent on Russian gas. But its leaders focused on the short-run benefits of cheap energy and ignored those warnings. On the eve of the Ukraine war, 55 percent of German gas came from Russia.

Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression runs on the money Russia gets by selling fossil fuels to Europe. And while Ukraine has, incredibly, repelled Russia’s attempt to seize Kyiv, Putin won’t be definitively stopped until Europe ends its energy dependence.

Which means that Germany — whose political and business leaders insist that they can’t do without Russian natural gas, even though many of its own economists disagree — has in effect become Putin’s prime enabler. This is shameful; it is also incredibly hypocritical given recent German history.

There’s no question that quickly cut off, or even greatly reducing, this gas flow would be painful. But multiple economic analyses — from the Brussels-based Bruegel Institute, the International Energy Agency and ECONtribute, a think tank sponsored by the Universities of Bonn and Cologne — have found that the effects of drastically reducing gas imports from Russia would be far from catastrophic to Germany.

As one member of the German Council of Economic Experts, which fills a role somewhat similar to that of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers, put it, an embargo on Russian gas would be difficult but “feasible.”

The ECONtribute analysis offers a range of estimates, but their worst-case number is that an embargo on Russian gas would temporarily reduce Germany’s real G.D.P. by 2.1 percent. I’ll put that number in context shortly.

Now, German industrialists refuse to accept economists’ estimates, insisting that a gas embargo would indeed be catastrophic. But they would say that, wouldn’t they? Industrial leaders everywhere always claim that any proposed restriction on their activities would be an economic disaster.

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