Calls to halt Russian oil profits as Ukrainian Peace Formula is discussed in Davos

Participants in the conference of national security and foreign policy experts in Davos discussed the ten principles of the Ukrainian Peace Formula and the progress made in their implementation.

First, during the meeting in Malta, the participants discussed the first five points of the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which included nuclear security, food and energy security, the release of prisoners and deportees (including children), and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The following five pillars of the Formula were discussed on Sunday: withdrawal of Russian soldiers and cessation of hostilities; restoration of justice; environmental safety; prevention of escalation and repetition of aggression; and confirmation of the war’s ending.

Lithuanian representatives and Ukraine’s Minister of Defense, Rustem Umerov, presented the work on the “Withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities.” They proposed establishing an international working group at the level of defense ministers and national security advisors. This group would be tasked with developing and ensuring the adoption of an international agreement that calls on Russia to completely cease hostilities and withdraw its troops from Ukraine.

As Davos debates between leaders, politicians, and experts continue, Ukrainian NGOs shared a call to further cut off Russian oil and gas profits to force Moscow to halt its war in Ukraine, but also slow the expansion of autocracy in the world and accelerate the global energy transition.

As the Davos World Economic Forum has started, Ukraine is facing a continuous wave of lethal missile attacks from Russia, resulting in innocent deaths and the destruction of cities.

The awful loss of human life in Ukraine, including hundreds of civilians and children, is often paid for with cash delivered to Russia from Europe and the United States, who continue doing business as usual with regard to much of Russia’s fossil fuel exports, wrote for Euractiv Svitlana Romanko, the founder and director of the Ukrainian campaign group Razom We Stand, and campaign manager Oleh Savytskyi.

In the midst of Ukraine’s continuous struggle for peace and sovereignty, they encourage democratic states to cut Russia’s oil and gas supply to halt Putin’s horrific war machine and limit the spread of dictatorship.

Profits from oil and gas exports fuel Russia’s war against Ukraine. These earnings help the Kremlin finance large missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian cities, killing innocent people and destroying civilian infrastructure. The Russian war economy survives on oil revenues, maintaining this horrific war that claims innocent lives daily.

The shadow of Russia’s intentions runs large, as evidenced by the government budget for 2024, which includes a massive allocation of resources to the military-industrial complex, unprecedented since Soviet times.

Russia’s “national defense” budget will climb to 10.775 trillion rubles ($110 billion) in 2024, a 70% increase from 2023, more than doubling from 2022, and three times the pre-war amount in 2021. Revenues from the oil trade finance military production.

A dramatic shift in budgetary priorities, with one-third devoted to the army, highlights the dangerous escalation of aggressiveness. Russia’s unprecedented militarization represents a risky road toward conflict escalation, endangering regional stability and the sustainability of European democracy.

The refined oil loophole, as thoroughly exposed by Global Witness, continues to be a huge financing source for Russia’s aggression. Its investigation revealed the EU’s ‘Russian oil loophole’ is contributing an estimated €1.1 billion in taxes to the Kremlin. Significant funds to sustain Putin’s war.

Russian militarization proves that the world needs to cut Moscow’s revenue now. First, there is a need for enforcement of the Russian oil price cap and making sure that no countries in Asia circumvent the restraints. The West should block the Russian “shadow fleet” from shipping Russian oil.

Second, it’s about Russian LNG profits. Kyiv urges an immediate ban on Russian LNG supplies to Europe, eliminating the need for any further postponement until 2025. Europe has plenty of gas storage, alternative LNG supplies in 2024, and record-breaking clean energy expansion. It leaves no reason to keep buying Russian LNG.

In the EU 12th package sanctions tightened the G7+ oil price cap, by adopting new measures to more closely monitor the sale of tankers to third countries.

Russia circumvent Western sanctions on its oil exports by redirecting them to India and China. The EU is looking for measures to stop or limit Indian imports of Russian oils.

Ending Russia’s energy dominance is a moral obligation, not just an economic or geopolitical strategy, as it will deprive Putin’s war machine of its fuel—oil and gas profits. Stopping Russian energy supplies is about more than just ending a war; it’s about destroying the foundation that allows the dictatorship to survive.

Energy independence, peace, climate action, and democratic resilience are all global imperatives, the NGOs stated. By cutting off Russian oil and gas sales, the democratic world will not only halt the war in Ukraine but also slow the expansion of despotism and accelerate the global energy transition.

The absence of measures to stop Russian oil profits and to enforce sanctions will allow Russia to continue the war in Ukraine. All of this will make it hard for Ukraine to prevail, move the conflict closer to the EU’s borders, and free the Kremlin to initiate action against European NATO member nations.

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