As Europe’s sanctions against Russia amid the Ukraine conflict backfired on the bloc, Vladimir Putin mocked the continent on Sunday, October 30. During an interview at the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank, the Russian President was reminded of a joke that he was recently telling his colleagues.
He said, “A son asks his father, ‘Daddy, why is our house so cold?’ Father says, ‘Because Russia attacked Ukraine.’ The child asks, ‘What does it have to do with us?’ Father says, ‘We imposed sanctions against Russians’. The child asks, ‘Why?’ Father says, ‘To make the Russians feel bad. The child asks, ‘Are we Russians?’. “
After Nord Stream 1 was sabotaged—Nord Stream 2 is non-operational—Russia’s energy supplies are not reaching Europe. The European Union depended on it for years to run factories, generate electricity and heat homes. That has pushed governments into a desperate scramble for new supplies and for ways to blunt the impact as economic growth slows and household utility bills rise.
Among the worst hit, Germany has urged citizens to cut down on gas usage and conserve energy as they head into the colder months. ‘Germans are using too much gas now to avoid a potential energy shortage this winter,’ warned the head of Germany’s national network regulator. Figures from the national network regulator show gas usage was nearly 10% higher last week than the average consumption from 2018 to 2021.