Israel’s Fortune is Putin’s Horror

From New York Post

By Arthur Herman

If you think Vladimir Putin has enough worries on his plate dealing with the Sochi Olympics debacle, the turmoil in Ukraine and Russia’s sputtering economy, think again. A new potential source of trouble is brewing out in the eastern Mediterranean — one that could not only undermine Putin’s efforts to rebuild Russia’s influence in the Middle East, but his current strong hand in Europe.

The threat: Israel’s recently discovered offshore gas deposits — one of the biggest global finds of the past decade.

Those fields, dubbed Tamar and Leviathan, promise Israel an unprecedented degree of energy independence and a lucrative export market to its Arab neighbors, including Egypt and Jordan. And they threaten to challenge Russian energy giant Gazprom’s dominance of the European gas market.

That dominance has been one of the lynchpins of Putin’s power. Gazprom provided Europe almost one-quarter of its total natural gas needs last year, and that need is inevitably going to grow.

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