Putin's self-sanctioning of Russian energy supplies will be absorbed by Europe, but Moscow will never be able to replace those customers, Kremlin critic Bill Browder says

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Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)
Investor and political activist Bill Browder (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)Getty Images
  • Vladimir Putin is only hurting himself by slashing gas supplies to Europe, Russian-American financier Bill Browder said.

  • That's because Europe will be be able to absorb the pain of the energy crisis, but Russia can't easily replace those customers.

  • "He's done himself an amazing self-sacrifice, which will serve our purposes," Browder said of the halt in gas supplies.

Europe will eventually overcome Russia's natural gas supply cuts, and Moscow will never be able to replace those customers, according to the Russian-American financier Bill Browder.

Browder, who has been a loud critic of Vladimir Putin's regime and has been referred to as the "financier Putin wants dead," said that the Russian president is only hurting himself and flashing signs of desperation by halting flows on the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. That will hurt Russia's economy more than Europe's in the end, Browder said.

"By shutting off the Nord Stream pipeline, he's effectively self-sanctioning. And yes, it's going to cause great pain to western Europe. It's going to cause great pain to the UK. But that pain can ultimately be absorbed, adjusted, and eventually disposed of," he told CNBC. "But Putin is not going to be able to replace the customers for all the gas he's selling into Europe."

He said 90% of Russian gas exports were sold to European customers before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine. But there are limits on how much Russia can shift supplies to other countries as gas pipeline can't be easily relocated.

That poses a big problem for Russia's economy in the long-term, especially as Europe is taking measures to become independent from Russian energy.

"He's done himself an amazing self-sacrifice, which will serve our purposes, serve Ukrainians' purposes in the end," Browder said.

Other analysts have suggested that Russia could spiral into a recession or a long-term stagnation as the result of its isolation from the West. Yet, Browder isn't surprised by Russia's cuts to European energy supplies.

"Putin is an extremely vindictive man. He's ready to cause himself pain, to cause his enemies pain … This is [sic] the actions of a man who is desperate," he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider