Ukraine’s masterplan to ‘immediately’ cut heart of Putin’s supplies and cripple war effort

Putin ‘deserves to be beaten in his face’ says Ukrainian MP

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Yuriy Vitrenko, boss of the state-owned Ukrainian energy giant Naftogaz, has claimed that an immediate ban on oil and gas could ruin Putin. It comes as the EU continues to mull over sanctions on Russian energy, but still hands the Kremlin billions despite the invasion. According to Mr Vitrenko, slashing this funding pot would deal a hammer blow to Putin’s energy empire, cause Putin’s public image to crumble and see his military lose crucial funds.

Mr Vitrenko told “It would immediately (an oil and gas embargo) have an effect because it would mean he could not finance his army, and what is even more important the whole society.

“Russia is more or less like a big gas station and he is buying all his public support through de facto paternalism.”

He went on: “When the government is limited in terms of how much money they can spend, then immediately it means that they are losing support from their society.

“And the Putin regime rests, on the one hand, its aggressive military position and threats, and on the other hand, on strong public support.”

Mr Vitrenko claimed that without this strong public support, the Russian President could be in real trouble.

He told “But this public support is not sustainable because it is not genuine.

“Putin is able to feed Russians with this very smug feeling of superiority based on, be it invasions into other countries or victories in sports tournaments, hosting some world championship, winning in the Olympics with doping and stuff like that.

“But it is a very costly exercise. It is not like Russians will support this regime no matter what, No. They are supporting the regime because they are getting money from the state.

“Because Putin is able, through this oil and gas money, to host world championships and buy victories in sports tournaments, to maintain this image of Russia as an empire.”

And Mr Vitrenko is not the only one pushing for oil and gas bans.

In April, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of an immediate ban on all of Putin’s hydrocarbons from being imported into the EU.

Announcing the vote, Director-General for Communication and Spokesperson of the European Parliament Jaume Duch said: “Overwhelming. The European Parliament majority calls for an immediate and full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas. “413 votes for, 93 against, 46 abstentions.”

But the Parliament has been let down by the European Commission, which is still struggling to convince Hungary to budge on its veto so it can force through an oil embargo.

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It has also yet to propose energy plans for a gas ban, despite coming up with a strategy to see imports phased out by 2027.

Spanish MEP Luis Garicano launched a scathing attack on the EU Commission for its continued delay, arguing that it is “not even trying”.

He said during a speech aimed at Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in EU Parliament: “President von der Leyen, a gas ban is possible. We aren’t even trying.

“If Europe does not stop funding Putin, history will not see us as bystanders. History will know we were complicit.”

He went on: “Our energy addiction, our money, allows the killing of Ukrainians, the killing of fellow Europeans whose only crime was to believe in our freedoms.

“Is it not clear that our gas is tainted with blood?”

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