A worker walks among pipes and valves at the Dashava natural gas facility on September 18, 2014 in Dashava, Ukraine. Moscow has historically offered -- or withdrawn -- natural gas price discounts based on Ukraine's political decisions.
For years, Russia has politically manipulated natural gas exports to Ukraine, adopting a carrot-and-stick approach in raising or reducing the price of much-needed energy at will. Ukraine has been spared the need to import natural gas from Russia's Gazprom since November 2015, but the country is once again beating a path to Moscow's door to purchase natural gas. This time, however, the situation has changed: Ukraine is buying Russian natural gas, yet its achievement of strategic objectives in recent years means it is unlikely to ever be as dependent on Moscow's energy resources again -- even as the issue of Russia's natural gas exports continues to loom large in European political discussions....
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