“This is a ruthless war against our nation, against our people, against our children. As of today, 143 children are known to have died. Mariupol remains blocked. Russian troops did not allow any humanitarian corridor to be organized today, they did not allow “silence”. Therefore, the situation must now be perceived in a balanced, wise way. As much as possible. Without excessive euphoria from success. But also without getting yourself worked up. We still need time. We still need weapons. We still have to fight, we have to be patient. We can’t burn emotions right now. We can’t set expectations too high. Just so as not to burn out” (Zelensky, 28.03.2022).
It has entered the 34th Day of the Russian-Belorussian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Defence has been able to stagnate and stop the Russian forces, which was supposed to enter Kyiv within days after the invasion on the 24th February 2022. The Russian Federation and the Kremlin power structure have been humbled by the resistance and the will of the Ukrainian people. They have also been targeted by a united Europe and Western power, which Russian President Vladimir Putin couldn’t foresee.
We know the European Union have made 4 packages of sanctions. There been reactions of Western companies suspending or stopping to invest in Russia. Everyone from VISA to Heineken has left Russia since the invasion. The Russian market have felt the move, but the Russians are still selling gas and oil to the EU, which is feeding the bottom-line and securing profits to the Russian state. Therefore, the totality of sanctions are still not crushing or depleting the Russian state. No, it is has only heart certain businesses and oligarchs.
That’s why Zelensky is right in saying this yesterday:
“I will continue this activity tomorrow. I will talk to other world leaders. I will work with international organizations, with the nations of Europe and the world. Ukraine cannot and will not agree with the passive sanctions position of some entities towards Russia. There should be no “suspended” sanctions packages – that if the Russian troops do something, then there will be some answer… We went through this story last year when we said that strong preventive sanctions against Russia were needed to prevent an invasion. The preventive package was not made. A full-scale war has begun. There are now many hints and warnings that sanctions will be tightened, such as an embargo on Russian oil supplies to Europe, if Russia uses chemical weapons. There are simply no words. Just think about what it all came down to. Waiting for chemical weapons… We, living people, have to wait… Doesn’t everything that the Russian military is doing and has already done deserve an oil embargo? Don’t phosphorus bombs deserve that? Don’t the shelled chemical production or nuclear power plant deserve that? It is important for us that the sanctions packages are effective and substantial enough, given what is already being done against Ukraine by the Russian Federation. If the sanctions packages are weak or do not work enough, if they can be circumvented, it creates a dangerous illusion for the Russian leadership that they can continue to afford what they are doing now. And Ukrainians pay for it with their lives. Thousands of lives. Therefore, starting this week, we are creating a group of experts at the President’s Office – Ukrainian and international, who will constantly analyze the sanctions against Russia – what they really influence. Our goal is for the sanctions to work as intended. And so that there is no possibility to circumvent them. This must be a goal for the whole democratic world, without exception. No exception” – President Volodymyr Zelensky – “We have to fight, we can’t burn emotions so as not to burn out” (28.03.2022).
The European Union, United States and all their allies should reconsider their approach. As some of their sanctions are biting. That’s why the Russian high ranking officials and spokespersons has spoken ill of the sanctions. They have even said it will cause “doom and gloom” over Europe. However, the ramification will also hurt Russia directly and the citizens itself. Therefore, it is not like this is only hitting the Kremlin and associates of Vladimir Putin. Yes, the oligarchs and the rich allies have lost homes, yachts and such. However, it would be more damaging if they totally blocked SWIFT and stopped buying gas. The West would damage the economy, if they stopped importing Russian produced products and similar items. That because that would damage the industries and the amount of investment power the state would have.
The Kremlin and Russia would be shocked, if the EU and the West suddenly blocked exports from Russia to them. That means the Russian producers would have to find other markets and other ways of earning profits. To realigned their economy would take time and wouldn’t be easy overnight. This is what they could do to hit the pockets and ensure the break-down of the economy. The freezing of assets and state reserves has damaged the economy. The fiscal re-assurance isn’t there. Though the buying of gas and oil is keeping it afloat.
That is why the EU and the West needs to consider to do more and target it even better. Just like Zelensky said. This they should do in solidarity to the people of Ukraine and for a justified cause of territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. Peace.