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Putin on brink: Exiled oligarch says next round of sanctions to deliver 'serious blow'

NewsPutin on brink: Exiled oligarch says next round of sanctions to deliver 'serious blow'

Mikhail Khodorkovsky suggests a European ban on Russian oil and gas imports would have a devastating impact on Putin’s war efforts in Ukraine. While the EU has sanctioned large areas of Moscow’s economy since the invasion began on February 24, Russia’s energy sector has remained largely untouched. A major reason for this lack of action is that the bloc relies on gas imports from Russia – amounting to 45 percent in 2021. It pays Putin £535 million a day for energy imports.

Speaking to BBC, Mr Khodorkovsky noted that Russia needs the EU as much the bloc relies on its energy, as it is Moscow’s largest buyer.

The exiled Russian oligarch said Putin would suffer a “very serious blow” if the EU stopped buying Russian oil and gas.

He said: “If Putin has to redirect oil and gas exports from the European to the Asian markets, he will lose over half of his revenue.

“Would he be able to continue the war and for how long would he be able to continue the war under those circumstances?

“It is difficult for me to say. But I think it would be a very serious blow.”

This comes as reports of the atrocities in Bucha by Russian forces have given European countries a new drive to ban Russian energy.

In its fifth round of sanctions, the EU banned the imports of Russian coal.

While the cheapest of the energy imports, Russian coal exports to Europe still cost the bloc a staggering €5.2billion (£4.3billion) in 2021.

With a ban on coal in place, the EU is expected to place limitations on the imports of Russian oil and natural gas in its sixth round of sanctions.

READ MORE: Germany finally steps up with plan to CUT Putin’s gas supply

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