youUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called on energy-producing countries to increase production this weekend, arguing that such a move would curb Russian efforts to “blackmail” European nations into continued dependence on Russian oil.
Zelensky made the call to action during a surprise virtual appearance Saturday at the Doha Forum in Qatar, an annual summit that brings together major geopolitical figures for discussions on international issues. Ukraine’s president has demanded that leaders of “responsible” nations with the capacity to produce more oil and gas do so quickly. He argued that such a move would help Europe recover financially from recent spikes in energy costs and push the Russian economy toward collapse in the wake of its unprovoked war.
WHY EUROPE CANNOT QUIT RUSSIAN NATURAL GAS
“Responsible states, especially the State of Qatar, you are reliable and reputable suppliers of energy resources,” the warlord said. “And you can help to stabilize the situation in Europe. There is a lot to be done to restore justice. “… The future of Europe depends on your efforts. I urge you to increase energy production to make Russia understand that no state should use energy as a weapon and blackmail the world.”
Zelensky went on to warn that continued Russian military aggression in his country would lead to food shortages internationally.
“Russian troops are mining fields in Ukraine, blowing up agricultural machinery, destroying fuel reserves needed for sowing. They blocked our seaports. Why are they doing this? he asked the world leaders conference. “Our state will have enough food. But Ukraine’s lack of exports will affect many countries in the Islamic world, Latin America and other parts of the world.
Russia faced huge financial consequences following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, with the country’s economy collapsing weeks after the military offensive was launched. The US and UK have banned Russian oil and gas exports, which have been imposed without the support of other European allies, many of whom have called for a slower war response to protect their own economies .
Before Russia’s invasion, the EU got about 40% of its natural gas, 27% of its oil and 46% of its coal from Russia. President Joe Biden, alongside a united European Union, also removed some Russian financial companies from the SWIFT global banking system earlier this month.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
During his trip to Europe last week, Biden announced the creation of a joint task force with the European Commission to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy. The president said the United States would work with international partners to supply at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Europe this year. The United States would triple these exports in the coming years, which will be necessary if Europe fulfills its commitment to stop buying Russian oil by 2030.
“I know that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe,” Biden said, “But it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic base. All of this brings the European Union and the United States even closer together, and this is a victory for all of us.”