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These are the ways Russia uses energy to control the world

Ukraine is just one piece of the Russian plan.

Russia has gone into overdrive to re-take resource-rich Crimea, the southern region of Ukraine. But it's just one example of how Moscow is attempting to exert control over the region.

Mostly Russia does this by making big energy deals. Moscow now supplies Europe with a quarter of its natural gas needs. When energy isn't an option, force can be.

Here's where Russia has its hand these days:

 

1. Hungary

Sergiu Bacioiu, Flickr Commons.

Russia just signed a deal to build two new nuclear reactors in Hungary. Critics say the deal will enable Moscow to exert political influence on the country.

 

2. Czech Republic

Riccardo Romano, Flickr Commons.

Russia's LUKoil company financed the party of President Milos Zeman. Russia is also bidding to build a new nuclear reactor there.

 

3. Serbia

Andrej Isakovic AFP/Getty.

Russia's Gazprom owns the country's state oil and gas company.

 

4. Moldova

Veaceslav Bunescu, Flickr Commons.

Russia backs a pro-Moscow breakaway region where it maintains troops.

 

5. Georgia

Dmitry Kostyukov, AFP/Getty.

Russia backs two pro-Moscow separatist regions it recognized as independent after it invaded Georgia during a 5-day war in 2008.

 

6. Germany

David Hecker, AFP/Getty.

Russia recently built a natural gas pipeline to Germany critics say locks in the country's dependence on Russian energy.

 

7. Bulgaria

Courtesy NASA.

Russia is developing a project to build a new gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and elsewhere in Europe.

 

8. Armenia

Zhirayr Nersessian, Flickr Commons.

Russia recently leaned on Armenia to reject trade and association deals with the EU in favor of joining a Moscow-led customs union.

 

9. Belarus

Sergiu Bacioiu, Flickr Commons.

The Russian ally is a member of the Moscow-led customs union.

 

10. Kazakhstan

Stanislav Filippov, AFP/Getty .

The Russian ally is also a member of the Moscow-led customs union.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/russia/140228/these-are-the-ways-russia-exerts-control-over-its-neighbors