Ukrainian diplomat calls Europe hypocrites for using Russian oil
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As Ukrainian civilians are tortured by Russian soldiers in their own villages, European Union countries such as Germany have continued to import $850 million (£647 million) of Russian oil and gas every day, financially propping up the invading nation. Ukrainian diplomat Vasyl Filipchuk accused those still relying on Russian fuel of “hypocrisy” and called for countries to recognise the blood on their own hands.
Speaking to LBC, the diplomat responded to questions of what he would say to the likes of Germany and Slovakia, who have repeatedly pleaded an inability to cut off Russian energy supplies.
The two countries are among a host of nations that say their own people will freeze to death if they instantaneously cease receiving oil and gas from Russia.
Ignoring the pleas, Filipchuk said: “If they still use Russian oil and gas, the price of that is dead Ukrainian men and women.
“It highlights that the extent to which they believe in the values proposed that NATO and the EU can be unions for this country is hypocritical.”
While Western sanctions have targeted Russian banks and companies, as well as an ever-growing number of oligarchs, Russian energy supplies have been spared.
While the US has made unprecedented withdrawals from its own oil reserves to reduce its use of Russian supplies, European countries claim an inability to overcome their reliance quickly.
Europe gets 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia, which is used to heat homes and generate electricity, and roughly a quarter of its oil use comes from Russia as well.
The US, therefore, made a concession that oil and gas sanctions would not be made a priority, to keep a united front between NATO members and other western allies.
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But European consumption of Russian oil and gas has risen by 15 percent month on month compared to before the Ukrainian invasion.
This fact was duly pointed out by Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar when he was criticised for increasing their own purchase of Russian crude oil.
In light of this, Britain made renewed calls yesterday for a “clear timetable” to be put forward by EU countries regarding when they would ween themselves off Russian energy supplies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to ask German chancellor Olaf Scholz to set a date for phasing out Russian gas when they meet in Downing Street on Friday.
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In a troubling speech at a press conference in Warsaw yesterday, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the West to stop “fuelling the Russian war machine with payments for fossil fuels”.
He said that he was not making this request for himself, rather it was “the plea of the victims of rape, torture and killings, their relatives and the entire Ukrainian nation”.
Kuleba was referencing the horrific treatment of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha and Irpin, villages surrounding the capital of Kyiv, where Russian soldiers allegedly bound and shot people in the street.
The Kremlin has denied this activity and accused Ukraine of staging the scenes, but satellite images suggest these comments are untrue.
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