If, I were Putin I would wait until winter and make the west suffer.
I don't think Putin wants the West (= Europe) to suffer, he wants them to pay.
To do this he will let gas flow at sufficient volumes to maintain a high enough Dutch
TTF price without "breaking" the system. In any case even with current storage levels
(~70%) they can make it through a normal winter.
By letting some gas flows he achieves the following:
1) Optimizes his revenues (max income for least gas sold)
2) Creates a new higher baseline for gas pricing globally (in the past gas was priced
at a low fraction of oil)
3) Stresses the internal EU energy policy system (plus green transition) with several
countries gradually "defecting" and making "private" deals with him like Hungary.
Europe has created an energy policy that binds the continent together in a way
similar to the Euro (common currency). It includes all the "interconnections", gas
pipelines, electricity connections and the electricity market system.
Pricing is based on the marginal electricity producer which currently is gas (=Dutch
TTF) because gas is always available and dispatchable.
The South has revolted against this (Spain and Portugal abandoned it) and Italy is
held hostage by their rising bond spread issues (plus absence of government).
Essentially the entire electricity policy of the EU was/is in the hands of Putin through
his control of gas (the ultimate mistake). Now the price of independence is exorbitant
At a minimum electricity prices in Europe will be priced off LNG