For some countries, the idea of energy independence from Russia is really just a pipe dream
Russia cut off gas shipments to Ukraine Monday, offering a blunt display of its power to squeeze gas flows to Europe—or in the case of a few vulnerable nations, run them dry.
A graph by the Economist arranges European nations in descending order of dependence on Russian gas, four of which stand on the extreme end of vulnerability. Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Latvia drew 100% of their gas supplies from Russia in 2012. Not one drop of energy independence came from alternative suppliers.
These are not the sole measure of dependence. All of these countries maintain reserves in anticipation of supply shocks, politically motivated or otherwise. Even Ukraine announced in the wake of Monday’s cut that it had enough reserves to fuel the nation through December. The graph does show however that for a few European nations, the goal of energy independence from Russia remains, at best, a pipe dream.