Vincent Boland: Berlin is the weak link in the West’s attempt to halt Putin’s war

Europe’s largest economy relies on Russian gas to fuel its industries and heat its homes. Severing that link will be hard for hesitant German leader Olaf Scholz, but time is running out for Ukraine

Russian leader Vladimir Putin with Gazprom boss Alexei Miller and former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder at the inauguration of the Nord Stream Project in 2011. The €38.8 billion the EU has paid for its energy from Russia since the start of the Ukraine invasion can procure a lot of weapons and pay a lot of soldiers. Picture: Alexey Nikolsky/AFP via Getty

An organisation called the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air has a live online calculator that tracks how much Russia has earned from its fossil fuel exports to the EU since Vladimir Putin launched his war on Ukraine two months ago. At lunchtime last Wednesday, the sum amounted to €37,891,553,784.

That sort of cash can procure a lot of weapons and pay a lot of Russian soldiers whatever pittance they earn to kill ...