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The reason Russia is so interested in the Ukraine

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From a Barron's article entitled "Russia’s War in Ukraine Is Only About One Thing". The war is primarily about protecting Moscow’s energy interests. Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s natural gas using two pipelines, one of which runs through Belarus and the other through Ukraine. Russia pays Ukraine around $2 billion a year in transit fees. Russia relies on oil and natural-gas sales for about 60% of its export revenue and 40% of its total budget expenditures. Any threat (such as the Ukraine forging closer ties to Europe, joining NATO, etc.) to Russia’s ability to access the European market is thus a threat to its economic security.

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