EU ‘not doing enough’ fury as Brussels still funding Putin through gas exports

Europe ‘not doing as much’ as they can to cripple Putin says expert

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Concerns have been raised by political experts that Europe’s reliance on Russian gas and oil exports could allow Vladimir Putin to continue his attack on Ukraine despite harsh sanctions being placed against him. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki raised the issue during an EU leaders’ summit last week as he said “Putin is taking the money from us… and is turning this into aggression”. Russia is continuing its push into Ukraine despite strong resistance from the Ukrainians which has caused “disarray” among Mr Putin’s troops.

Western powers have imposed harsh sanctions against Russia which range from travel bans, asset freezes, and bans on conducting deals with Russian institutions.

The result has caused the Russian Ruble to drastically fall in value and has forced Russian banks to increase interest rates.

The aim is to cripple Russia’s ability to wage war but concerns have grown over Europe’s reliance on Russia’s lucrative gas exports.

Tyler Kustra, a sanction expert at the University of Nottingham, spoke to the BBC about the measures but did not think they went far enough.

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He explained: “If you look at the Russian economy, it’s largely dominated by sending oil and natural gas to Europe.

“So as long as we allow the oil and natural gas to flow, we’re not doing as much as we can to cripple Vladimir Putin’s war machine.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urging the European Union to wean itself off Russian gas and to invest in other energy systems like renewable energy.

The UK gets less than 5 percent of its gas from Russia whereas the European Union gets 40 percent.

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While sanctions have targeted some manufacturing and financial sectors in Russia, oil and gas have so far not been touched.

Russian energy giant Gazprom announced exports to Europe were going ahead as planned despite the Ukraine invasion.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Germany and Russia was set to increase Europe’s energy reliance on Russia – much to the dismay of the American administration.

However, Germany has halted the pipeline following the Ukraine conflict after facing pressure it was not doing enough to aid Ukraine.

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Sanctions have caused the Ruble to fall to its lowest level with Russia facing an economic meltdown. 

Chris Weafer, chief executive at consultancy firm Micro-Advisory and based in Moscow, explained the situation to BBC News.

He said: “You are beginning to see a little bit of queuing in some grocery stores, particularly people buying some goods that they think might come into short supply due to trade restrictions. 

“Or maybe will be subject to big price increases because of the rouble devaluation, but the bottom line is, this set of sanctions are hitting ordinary Russians to an extent that previous sanctions have not and people are now becoming aware of that.

“People are a lot more fearful. They’re worried about what might come next. 

“There is already talk about some companies having to either go on reduced working hours, or even suspend production because they’re not able to access key parts from the West due to sanctions or due to trade limitations.

“So there’s a great deal of concern on the street.”

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