The first signs of trouble came in 2008 when oil prices tanked, and Russia lost $20 billion in global reserves in the event of a financial crisis.
The oil crash triggered a sharp increase in the cost of oil, and in the months that followed, Russian officials began issuing warnings that the price of oil was about to go up.
As a result, Putin was able to sell some of his remaining oil reserves to China, a nation that he had courted since the Soviet era.
It’s not just that Putin bought some oil.
He bought oil, too.
Putin had already been spending billions of dollars to expand his oil and gas infrastructure, which meant that he could now produce oil at a higher price than ever before.
And while he was selling oil in Russia, he was also expanding the pipeline network that supplies his country with oil from North America to Europe.
It was an unprecedented feat for Putin, who has spent his career running his country’s vast energy empire, but the Russian leader is also a consummate salesman, and as a result the pipeline expansion has become the biggest single project in his decade in power.
In fact, Russia’s gas exports have increased by more than a third since 2007, according to the World Bank.
But Putin’s most ambitious expansion effort has been to extend his pipeline network from Russia’s Arctic region to the Mediterranean Sea, a feat that took place in 2012.
The plan was so ambitious that, at the time, Russia had only a few pipelines left, and Putin had to build three of them.
When Putin began expanding the project, he had a few obstacles in his way.
First, he needed to find a way to move enough gas from Siberia to the port of Piraeus, which is the center of the European gas pipeline network.
The only other place in Europe where gas could be transported by pipeline was in Hungary.
But as the pipeline project went through stages of approval, the European Union began to see that the Russian government had succeeded in getting the European Commission to approve it, which means that the European market is now one of the best places to get gas in Europe.
But then there was another obstacle.
The pipeline needed to pass through Ukraine, which had been annexed by Russia in March of last year.
In the midst of the Ukrainian crisis, Putin wanted to export gas to Europe to feed the country’s burgeoning population.
But Ukraine, the country with the third-largest economy in the European continent, has an oil industry that is dependent on the Russian energy sector.
So, in December of last season, when Ukraine was still suffering a devastating drought, Putin agreed to pump some of its gas through the Russian pipeline.
The move helped the country to cut its energy bill by nearly 20 percent.
The European Union has been slow to embrace the idea of exporting gas through pipelines to Europe, but there are signs that it is slowly beginning to reconsider.
In April, the EU began allowing Gazprom to export liquefied natural gas from its Nord Stream 2 pipeline to the EU through the Mediterranean.
And in October, EU member states agreed to allow Gazprom and Rosneft to begin building pipelines from Europe to Russia’s North Sea to help reduce their dependence on the energy sector, the same way that the United States has allowed the U.S. to export natural gas to Canada.
These are all great developments for Putin.
But he’s also worried about how much oil and natural gas Russia’s economy can afford to lose if it were to experience a severe economic downturn.
Putin, who is now the president of Russia, has long argued that if oil prices start rising again, Russia would be forced to stop buying Russian oil and would likely have to reduce its oil production in order to save the country from a recession.
And as long as he has oil and a strong domestic economy, Putin believes that he can get by without relying on the massive supply of natural gas that the world has been importing for years.
The Russian leader has long pushed the idea that Russia can avoid a major economic downturn by importing oil from overseas, and so far his plans have paid off.
He has already invested billions of pounds in a project to ship Russian oil to a refinery in Venezuela, and now he’s expanding his pipeline system to bring the gas to the European markets.
Even though oil prices are currently lower than they were in the early 2000s, Putin sees the future of the Russian economy as one of energy independence.
In a country where gas prices have been falling, he sees the potential to export oil and make money off of the natural gas extracted by his oil-refining facility in Severomorsk.
In other words, Putin has the potential for becoming a big oil producer again, and he’s not afraid of taking on a new risk if it comes to that.