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Russian oil spat is a stark warning to the world

By Tomas Hirst  

Turning off the pipe:

News that Russia has suspended oil shipments to Belarus should give the rest of Europe cause for concern. It shows that more than ever before the country is willing to use its commodities leverage to ensure cooperation, even of its allies.

The collapse of commodities prices in July 2008 illustrated the true vulnerability of the Russian economic growth story: in the second half of 2008 the price of crude oil fell from almost $150 a barrel…

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