In a move that has echoes of a year ago, Russia has announced that it is to double the price of gas to its neighbour Georgia. The move is being seen as part of its increasingly bitter campaign of retribution against the country, which is already reeling from a string of punitive measures imposed by the Kremlin in recent months.
The move is also reminiscent of last January when Gazprom quadrupled prices to Ukraine and then cut off supplies, triggering shortages across Europe. Then the United States accused Moscow of using its energy resources to “blackmail” ex-Soviet states that had pursued a pro-western course.
Gazprom has defended the recent increase against Georgia saying the rise was in line with international market prices. Few in the west will believe that and the move will send shock-waves once again through European capitals that are dependent on Russian gas.
And it all happens just as a cold-snap hits the continent …