- “Eliminate Russian exports,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday.
- In buying Russian goods, Western countries are funding Moscow’s war machine, he explained.
- The European Union has proposed a complete ban on Russian oil, which would hurt Moscow, but this has not yet come to fruition.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleba told the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday that the West should stop buying Russian exports that are funding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“My message is very simple,” Kuleba said. “Kill Russian exports.”
Western countries have imposed various economic and trade sanctions on Russia, although Kyiv has called for more stringent measures, and Kuleba reiterated them at the conference.
“Stop buying from Russia, stop allowing them to make money that they can invest in the war machine that destroys, kills, rapes and tortures people in Ukraine,” he said.
Meanwhile, the European Union continues to impose complete sanctions on Russian oil. According to Matt Smith, Kepler’s chief oil analyst, if this happens, Russia’s economy will suffer huge losses as it will have to cut oil production by 20% within a year or two.
“Production cuts, it’s really a worst case scenario [for Russia]This may be due to the uncertainty of the potential damage,” Smith previously told Insider.
According to the foreign minister, the current sanctions are not harming the Russian economy as much as the Russian attack is hurting the economy of Ukraine.
The International Energy Agency said Russian oil export revenues have increased by 50% since the beginning of 2022, with Kremlin sales increasing by about $20 billion a month. The IEA said Russia’s shipping volumes are returning to pre-war levels when the invasion began in Ukraine after a slight decline in exports.
Reuters reported on 9 May that the European Union plans to crack down on oil tankers that ship Russian crude to third countries, although it has banned insurers.
“If you tell the shipping industry that everyone carrying Russian oil anywhere in the world is going to face a problem, it’s going to be a big issue,” Kuleba said.
All the while, China has increased its Russian oil purchases by nearly 50% in May, and that’s close to 1.1 million barrels per day of Russian crude brought in by sea, per Reuters.
Separately, Russia offered the UK to unblock Ukrainian ports in exchange for lifting sanctions amid the growing global food crisis, but that offer was turned down. Kubella said of the move: “This is clear blackmail.”