A seven-point plan to make Putin resign

Nord Stream 2 pipeline
Nord Stream 2 pipeline

This will be our common victory, along with all the democratic countries of the world. But at the moment, fierce battles are continuing, like in Bakhmut, and Ukrainian heroes keep dying, as long as peaceful people are dying - from Bucha, as it was in March of the last year, to the Dnipro, as it happened in January.

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Russia is actively preparing for an offensive, for revenge in a military campaign in which, in less than a month and a year, has not realized any of the goals which were set before the invasion. Last week, the Russian Furher made a number of statements regarding the Kremlin's plans. His main messages were: the war will be long and tiring, the human and financial cost is not an issue, there will be another wave of mobilization, although it will be mostly hidden, and he has more than enough money for war.

Sanctions are not a goal, but only a tool, and the goal is victory in the war and a just peace.

Russia's GDP, according to preliminary data from the World Bank, decreased last year by only 3.5%. It is obvious that in the long term, sanctions have a negative impact on the Russian economy. They deprive it of the possibility of modernization and are plunging it into a long recession. Sanctions have placed a ticking time bomb under Russia, gradually turning it into an Orthodox [Christian] Iran. But we need a quick explosive effect, the effects of which, if not to take Putin down, will at least certainly deprive him of the resources for a long war. While the world is waiting for the cumulative effect, the Russian death knell is working in Ukraine, destroying Ukrainians.

From Europe's gas station, Russia is becoming China's gas station, but it is still earning astronomical amounts from oil and gas exports. In the first months of the war, oil and gas prices jumped, and Moscow received $350 billion a year from the energy trade alone. With such a treasure, Russia can fight for as long as it wants - and not only with Ukraine...So, the task of the democratic world is to significantly reduce this income over the course of this year. Let's not forget that it was a drop in oil prices that collapsed the Soviet Union. And before that, it forced Gorbachev to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan.

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The most powerful remedial measures only came into effect in December  - price restrictions on Russian oil and an embargo on its supply by sea. The tenth package of EU sanctions should be ready by the anniversary of the Russian invasion. As announced, it "will mainly focus on closing loopholes, putting an end to sanctions evasion and introducing strong consequences for those who circumvent European Union sanctions." A valid point, but a more ambitious approach is needed. Stronger sanctions are needed, which, combined with increased arms supplies, will force Putin to make peace this year.

First. We expect that the G7 will lower the price ceiling for Russian oil in March. It would be more appropriate to use the word "plinth". So far, the marginal price for Russian oil has turned out to be too positive - even higher than the market price.

Second. The ban on transshipment of Russian oil or the production of oil cocktails with its ingredients, penalties for concealing the country of origin, etc., should be strictly controlled.

The third. Through the tools of international law, the entrance to the Suez Canal should be blocked for Russian export of goods which are under sanction – including energy shipments that are not insured by insurance companies known for their impeccable compliance with the sanctions regime. Simply do not accept policies from unreliable insurance companies that are under the influence of Russia or its partners, and which do not comply with the sanctions regime. Offenders should be stopped by the naval forces of NATO member countries.

And then the Russians will spend more time transporting oil to South Asia via Vasco da Gama’s way, instead of doing it like previously, directly through the Suez. Yes, this mechanism should provide for the compensation of Egypt's losses, which it would suffer due to the reduction of revenues from the cessation of transit in the interests of Russia - according to our estimates, this amount could reach approximately one billion dollars.

The fourth. Let's move from Africa to the Arctic. Restrictions on the Russian liquefied gas trade should be strictly enforced. We are grateful to equipment and technology suppliers to France's Total, Germany's Linde and Siemens, and Japan's Mitsui for ceasing cooperation with the Arctic LNG2 project, as well as South Korea's Daewoo Heavy, which refused a tempting order for 15 ice-class tankers.

Fifth. We need to finally close the oil refinery "Druzhba" - we need help in reaching an understanding with the Hungarians, Czechs, and Slovaks. It is an absurd situation when Russians destroy our infrastructure, and we are forced to pump approximately 12 million tons of Russian oil! Via agreements with partners, I have no doubt, Ukraine will stop both "Druzhba" and our part of the GTS. The only reason why we still pump oil and gas is because of the opinion of our partners who still consume Russian energy.

Sixth. Depriving Russia of nearly ten billion dollars due to the loss of opportunity to provide uranium enrichment services and nuclear power plant construction. Rosatom, as an accomplice of the Russian military’s crimes at the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plants, deserves the strictest sanctions. Let's not forget that Russia is blackmailing the whole world with its nuclear weapons.

Seventh. Currently, about half of the aggressor's gold and currency reserves are blocked - more than three hundred billion dollars. More than $130 billion in gold should be guaranteed illiquid. So it is not enough to ban buying gold in Russia. Any possibility of using it as collateral or in the form of other instruments should be blocked. Russian gold is blood gold, Russian diamonds are blood diamonds, especially if you consider the dirty business of the Wagner group in African countries.

According to forecasts, real restrictions in the oil and gas sector, if they would be fully implemented in 2023, will collapse Russian exports from $530 billion to $300 billion, and our proposed steps will deprive Russia of another $30 billion in export revenue.

Read also: It’s not only about Putin: What must change in Russia

Another task of the coming months is to form offensive potential sufficient to liberate Ukraine from the invaders and discourage them from attacking other countries. It's not just tanks that are being talked about these days, but ATACAMS missiles, modern F16 fighter jets, and Apache attack helicopters.

Sanctions and weapons, weapons and sanctions - this is what guarantees against Russian escalation, and what will ensure the approach of our common victory and a long-awaited peace.

Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine