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Opinion The brutal end of German illusions about energy from Russia

James Kirchick: Gazprom is cutting 20 percent of capacity of natural gas it delivers to Germany through pipeline. He says it's retaliating for E.U. sanctions levied because of Russia's war against Ukraine. Europe had plenty of time to avoid the unenviable predicament in which it now finds itself, he says. He writes that increasing European dependence on Russian gas at the expense of other sources has always entailed a political dimension, especially in Germany, where it has always been dependent on Putin's gas. Kirchik: The European energy dilemma is the result of three interrelated illusions: that dependence on Russia was worth whatever (minor) risks it entailed, that the supplier of that gas was a partner rather than an adversary.

Putin's belief that he could subjugate Ukraine owes a great deal to Western Europe's lackluster military support for its embattled neighbor. NATO’s refusal, at the behest of France and Germany, to provide Georgia and Ukraine with pathways to membership in 2008 sent Putin a greenlight to invade both countries. Europe would not be facing an energy crisis today had more of its leaders seen