Europe can help Ukraine by ending Russia’s energy stranglehold
European leaders must learn from past mistakes and help end war in my country by using one of the most powerful tools at their disposal: energy sanctions, wrote Andriy Kobolev, former chief executive of Naftogaz, the Ukrainian state-owned energy company.
According to him, Putin is convinced that Europe is too weak to risk its comfort and thus will never be willing to stop buying Russian energy. Also, Putin will not be discomfited by measures he regards as reversible. Temporary measures, such as the freezing of Russian assets, will only persuade him to hit Ukraine harder.
Therefore, Russian aggression will not stop with Ukraine unless there is strong retaliation from the west. Beyond the military domain, the most obvious target for such retaliation is Russian energy exports, which account for roughly 36% of the country’s total budget revenues, most of which are used to fund military expenditure. And Europe should move fast to replace Russian energy supplies permanently.