by Con Coughlin • March 4, 2022 at 5:00 am
- With clear signs that the West’s strong and united response to Mr Putin’s aggression is paying dividends, there is a strong and compelling argument for the West to maintain the pressure on Russia by any means possible.
- One option to increase Moscow’s isolation further, for example, would be to expand membership of Western institutions such as the European Union and the Nato alliance to countries like Ukraine, a move that would guarantee their removal from Moscow’s sphere of influence.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already stated unequivocally that Ukraine should ultimately become an EU member state, declaring, “They are one of us and we want them in.”
- An excellent source of gas would be the EastMed pipeline project, which could provide energy to Europe from allies Cyprus and Israel, via Greece, and should be built without delay. US President Joe Biden recently killed it, as he has so far killed much of America’s fossil fuel exploration, production and distribution — policies economically and geopolitically crippling both to Americans and their allies in Europe.
- The irony is that America, formerly energy independent, is currently importing 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia. At more than $100 a barrel, Biden, or rather Americans, are therefore providing Putin half a billion dollars a day to kill Ukrainians. When the United States recently asked OPEC to increase production to help lower prices in the US, they were told, “If you want more oil, pump it yourself.”
- Mr Putin, by invading Ukraine, has signalled no intention of abiding by the norms of international conduct. For its part, the West must respond by taking every measure to ensure Russia pays the heaviest price possible for its appalling conduct.