WESTERN sanctions have hit just about every Russian citizen with disposable income.
It didn’t matter whether they were in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, or, like Roman Abramovich, if they were even operating in Russia at all.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has made a point of trying to strangle the Russian economy.
But money will keep flowing into Moscow’s coffers for one simple reason – Britain, and the Western world, is hooked on oil and gas.
There’s been blustering rhetoric to be self-sufficient – Britain will stop buying Russian at the end of the year – and numerous attempts to find other sources.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tried – and failed – to charm the Saudis to turn on their taps for Britain, while subtle deals appear to have been struck with old adversaries Iran and Venezuela, hinting at possible supply deals nearing recognition.
But all this effort would be redundant if Britain followed the underlying rhetoric at COP26 – and went renewable entirely.
Dependency on other nations – especially powerful nuclear states – is a dangerous geopolitical game.
Oil and gas has become easy leverage for Russia, and an easy way out of sanctions.
If Britain was a nation of renewable energy instead – Net Zero, perhaps – putting pressure on the Kremlin would become much easier.
And, just as a bonus, it may well help save the planet too.
Instead, there is now a discussion within the Cabinet on fracking – and all the environmental deficiencies that come with it.
Britain appears to be behind Europe on this – Politico reported last week that nations in Northern and Western Europe are pushing for the fast-tracking of EU climate legislation, while Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has already rolled out emergency measures to reduce dependence on Russian oil.
Boris Johnson needs to step his game up, ignore the fracking and fossil fuel interest and do what he has pledged – get Britain to Net Zero. It would help save the planet from the spectre of Climate Change, and perhaps the spectre of Putin too.
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