‘Too slow and too little!’ Ukraine shames EU as bloc STILL paying Putin £535m a day

Former Putin advisor slams Europe for using Russian oil on LBC

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Last week, the EU formally announced its fifth sanctions package against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. By banning the sale of Russian coal, wood, chemicals and other products, the bloc was able to slash a tenth of the total imports from Moscow. However, Ukrainian officials slammed the EU for being too slow to take action against Putin, even amidst the reports of war crimes committed in Bucha.

Speaking to Politico, Ihor Zhovkva, deputy head of the office of Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky slammed the bloc for taking action too slowly, and not doing enough to hurt Putin’s war efforts.

While the ban on Russian coal is the first such blow at Putin’s energy exports, even that does not mean that the bloc will immediately cease supplying coal to the bloc.

The details of the sanctions state that EU members cannot sign any new coal supply contracts with Russia, with the blockade fully coming into effect from the second week of August.

This means that the EU will continue to pay Russia for its coal imports for the next four months.

Mr Zhovkva described the latest sanctions as being “too late, too slow and too little,” however adding that “we are thankful for the fifth package”.

The deputy head urged the bloc to ban impose a ban on Russian gas, which is Moscow’s largest export to the EU.

He said: “We do understand that there’s a procedure.

“We are realistic and we understand we have to follow the rules, but we don’t have another 10 or 15 years to wait for bureaucracy.

“Yes, there may be economic suffering or a rise in prices, but on the other hand, there is the death of Ukrainians.

“Every euro Russia earns it spends on its military, on more missiles to kill Ukrainians. This is a moral choice.”

The EU is heavily dependent on Russian energy imported, purchasing a staggering €48.5billion (£38billion) of crude oil in 2021, and €22.5billion (£19billion) of petroleum oils other than crude.

The bloc also paid Russia €16.3billion (£13.5billion) for gas in 2021, depending on the fossil fuel for 45 percent of its total supplies.

On the whole, the EU annually imports up to 155 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas from Russia, which last year accounted for 55 percent of its total supplies.

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The recent tragedy in Bucha has is gradually getting more EU members on board with hitting Putin where it hurts the most.

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an immediate ban, despite which the EU was unable to issue a sanction on Russian oil and gas.

This has left MEPs frustrated, with Luis Garicano, calling the delay “totally unsustainable and morally indefensible” and accusing the EU of “bankrolling a genocide.”

Mr Garicano, who was the Renew Europe group’s negotiator on the resolution to ban Russian oil and gas, told Politico: “The EU has just approved an additional $500 million of military aid, yet we give around $700 million (£536 million) of revenue daily to Putin’s war machine.”

He also estimated that the bloc has already paid around $4.9 billion (£3.7 billion) for oil and gas since last week’s vote.

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