And who's going to provide them with oil and gas? Besides which Russia would then be justified to move in to protect its pipelines.
Everyone makes the "chess player" analogy for Putin. He seems to besides that be a guy with a flow chart. Whatever happens, he has a plan for what to do next.
That pipeline is blood to Russia’s economy, so blow some of it up and economically offer them a chance to leave or blow the rest and destroy everything so Russia starves if need be. Do it before you have no country left.
Best thing to do is to blow it all up. Russia sucks at fixing or building things and the result would be due to this invasion anyway.
No one is stopping Russia, so blow up their little money maker and bleed them to death.
Leave them there and they will be a new spreading cancer to the area.
Much of his response to the evolving crisis has been improvised. If the Russians have an end game in mind, its not clear to them or to their foes how it will play out.
Why blowup when closing a valve works just as good.
Even better would be for the West to stop buying. Then the Russians have to invade the West to force them to buy.