On a freezing winter morning, Europe woke up to a shock. Russia had cut off gas to Ukraine. Companies started reporting drops in supplies via the transit country. Calls to reduce energy dependence on Moscow resonated across the continent.

That was in January 2006. Sixteen years on, through another supply crisis and then Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the European Union is much in the same place: plotting ways to cut reliance on its single biggest gas supplier and bracing for a stoppage of flows as Russia wages war on Ukraine.

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