As previously noted, the Russians have been trying to use a monopoly on natural gas to throw its rapidly diminishing weight around Europe, and nearly bankrupting itself in the process.
That is why this here could have enormous significance for the region.
UPDATE: Thanks 'strop in comments for this link.
"I do indeed believe that this little gas quarrel will be seen by future historians as the beginning of the end of Russia’s neo-imperial quest -- and of Putin himself as the leader that personified it."
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