Russian oil and gas embargo could end war within weeks, says former Putin aide – POLITICO

An effective embargo on oil and gas imports from Russia could force an end to the country’s war against Ukraine within eight weeks, said former chief economic adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin told the BBC.

If Western countries “try to impose a real embargo on oil and gas exports from Russia… I’d bet that Russian military operations in Ukraine will probably end within a month or two,” Andrey Illarionov said. “It’s one of the very effective tools that Western countries still have.”

Illarionov was a top adviser and Putin’s G8 representative from 2000 to 2005, when he resigned in protest at the 2004 storm by Russian troops on the Chechen-held Beslan school, which resulted in the deaths of 333 civilians.

Calls to include Russian oil and gas in Western sanctions have grown louder as atrocities committed by Russian troops in the Kyiv area shock the world. Kyiv repeated blamed on the West Funding Russia’s war by continuing to buy Russian energy. The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the EU is paying Putin €1 billion for the energy every day.

Earlier this week, an overwhelming majority of European lawmakers called for an “immediate full embargo” on Russian oil, gas and coal. But while the EU on Friday banned imports of Russian coal and a number of European governments including France, Italy, Poland and the Baltics have further sanctions on board, Germany has repeatedly ruled out an immediate embargo on Russian gas imports, Hungary has said , both point to negative economic consequences for their citizens. There is also an end to oil imports from Russia unlikely before the end of the year.

In the BBC interview, he also argued that a change of government is inevitable “sooner or later” as “it is absolutely impossible to have a positive future for Russia with the current political regime”. Russian oil and gas embargo could end war within weeks, says former Putin aide - POLITICO

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