A group of independent Ukrainian and international experts analyzing the impact of sanctions imposed on Russia, co-chaired by Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and former US National Security Advisor Michael McFaul, urges the European Union to speed up a full embargo on Russian energy to end the war in Ukraine as soon as possible.
In its statement, the group emphasizes that over the past three months, the democratic world has repeatedly demonstrated unity and the capacity to respond to the unjust war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine. On May 31, the European Union (EU) announced the approval of the Sixth Package of Sanctions against Russia. It includes a ban on imports of Russian oil by sea, the exclusion of Sberbank from the SWIFT international system, the banning of three more Russian media broadcasters, and the extension of individual sanctions.
“Such sanctions will deprive Russia of the opportunity to export 90% of its oil to the EU by the end of 2022. The International Working Group on Russian Sanctions welcomes such a statement by the EU, given that the embargo on Russian energy serves as one of the most effective economic levers of pressure to stop Russia's aggression,” the statement reads.
The experts emphasize that the pressure on Russia’s economy is an essential tool to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime from funding hostilities in Ukraine and to force it to end them.
In addition, experts believe that Russia's current revenues from energy exports should be frozen in European bank accounts.
“At the same time, we believe that the delay in implementing the Sixth Package has reduced
the effectiveness of previous measures, including restrictions on the financial system. Russia
has continued to adapt to sanctions,” the statement reads.
Thus, over the time that has passed since the decision to reduce dependence on imported energy, Russia has gained additional opportunities for adaptation and tens of billions of oil and gas revenues.
“Further delays in implementation of a full embargo on Russian energy will thus reduce the effectiveness of sanctions. A complete oil and gas embargo against Russia is necessary.
The EU must speed up its introduction and adopt tough decisions that are commensurate with the level of Russia’s threat as soon as possible,” the statement reads.
The group is convinced: the sooner such decisions are made, the more painless the reorientation of the economy and preparation for winter will be.
“All the consequences of the embargo will be manageable, as detailed in our Energy Sanctions Roadmap. This document also proposes revenue reducing measures during the transition to a full embargo,” the experts noted.
A combination of sanctions – a complete oil and gas embargo and the exclusion of all
Russian financial institutions, including Gazprombank, from the global system – can speed
up the likelihood of peace on the European continent. The democratic world must recognize the Kremlin regime as a terrorist at the legislative level, limiting business ties with Russia.
“We call for solidarity and determination, not just loud rhetoric. We must not stop at the sanctions pressure, this is the only way to force the Kremlin to end the war against Ukraine,” the statement reads.