Russia has an infinite number of pretexts to cut off all the stooges from Gas.
They have, but Russia makes money selling gas so it actually makes more sense for Russia to put up with most of the shit from the EU and just sell gas... even with all the bullshit it is still very profitable for Russia.
Putin makes the calls, and he clearly hasn't taken on any.
Putin is a busy guy... I am sure he does not spend 10 hours a day every day working on Gazproms business and negotiate every deal... but equally I am sure he is kept up to date with what is happening and the CEO of Gazprom communicates with him about important things and problems.
Most of the time I would expect Putin will just agree and let him do what he was doing, but sometimes Russian interests are not the same as Gazproms interests... for instance with regard to pumping gas through the Ukraine is less profitable than through other pipelines so from a purely business point of view if you don't need all your pipes flowing at full rates then the ones you slow down or stop are the more expensive and less profitable ones, well Putin stepped in there because politically it would be better to pump a little extra through the Ukraine for political reasons.
The CEO of Gazprom actually said it was cheaper to not pump gas through the Ukraine and pay fines for not putting through the promised volumes than it was to pump the gas through the Ukraine and pay the transit fees which indicates how much they are.
Putin basically said we make money either way the gas goes so put it through the Ukraine and pay the fees instead of the fines and everyone is happy.
The Americans don't need any pretext to act and defend their interests - they create the pretext if needed....manufacturing them out of thin air.
Yup, they repeatedly say they have interests and not friends.... but they go on about special relationships and alliances when they want to go to war somewhere...
I personally avoid having friends like that.
That's why one power has this predicament while the other exports LNG to premium markers in Asia without a fucking care in the world of what happens at the EU.
So what you are saying is that evil monster enemy Russia just on the verge of invading and destroying the EU looks after EU interests better than the best buddy and ally and best friend against the bad guys of the universe US does... yeah, I would agree with that, but I don't understand it from any of the three perspectives...
When the US or EU crosses one of Russias newly declared red lines that good will from Russia will disappear and we will see how the relationships change...
Of course the US will have achieved what it wanted by separating the EU and Russia to prevent them working together and being made redundant, but will it backfire where the anti Russian EU states celebrate while the ones that are not so hostile suddenly regret being led down a path that really does not benefit them at all... we might see a real split in the EU... but most of the anti Russia countries are on her borders so even if a pro EU component broke away there would be a barrier of anti Russian countries in the way anyway... interesting that the South Streams and North Streams already bypass such states...
One is engaged in a foolish policy that's not paying dividends, the other is not. If you can recognize that the policy is foolish and you still keep at it... what does it say about Russian power structure? That too much power is concentrated at the top - that such power doesn't get challenged and thus has little internal pressure to reverse policy - even when it's clearly not working.
What foolish policy... they have been trying to engage the west for the last two decades and failed largely because the west is run from Washington and they don't want good relations with anyone but themselves... but they have used their time wisely and absorbed multiple blows that have allowed them to restructure and develop to the point where they are probably more independent than the US or the EU... both of which seem to have shifted their production to China.
Russia is in the best position internationally than it has ever been before... no need to change a lot, but western containment means they really need to start looking to the rest of the world for further development and growth... though it will be mutual development and mutual growth which the rest of the world is not used to because normally the west is a parasite not a symbiote.
Time to face it, Putin's prime has been long over.
People in the west and haters of Russia keep saying he should go, but I don't think that alone would be a good reason for that to happen.
In fact I would say the opposite... the time for the Russia haters in the wests time is over and instead of being such bastards to everyone you should start practising what you preach and being a bit more Christian about relations with other people and other countries... and I don't mean more crusades to murder people because their views are different...
The problem is that Putin can either choose to leave office or a majority of Russian voters can choose to change the person in the role... there is really nothing at all anyone in the west could do to fix the west... all the political organisations that have any chance of ruling their countries... all the major political parties are infected with anti Putin and anti Russian bullshit, because the rich people who own them fear an alternative that is not so money oriented... not so evil.
On the foreign policy front his record has a lot of stains and fumbles.
He has dealt with a lot of attacks and feints and assaults on Russia and her neighbours not always victorious, but usually snatching the best possible results for Russia that were possible for him in his and their position.
Time for new blood is overdue - not just the man at the very top, but also those advising, and hopefully, for Russian's sake, not of the Gorbachev, Yeltsin type
If Putin and his advisors were of the Yeltsin or Gorby type you would not be demanding he be gone... and Russia would be in the toilet by now.
Inability or fear for picking the "wrong successor" shouldn't be an excuse for tolerance of failed policies. It sadly is in the Kremlin atm.
Of course the better the devil you know means change can be scary.... change can also sometimes be good, but I honestly don't know what you expect anyone else to actually do better.
The best measure is western media and they want him gone... is that because they care so much about the people of Russia or do they seem him as being too capable and too hard to defeat politically... they want someone easier... more flexible... that doesn't think too much... they want Russia to be run from Washington like the EU is.