To harm Russia, the West must punish itself | CNN Enterprise


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Punishing Vladimir Putin and Russia for his or her aggression towards Ukraine will price us at residence. As a result of to hit Russia the place it actually hurts, we’d have to harm everybody.

Russia is a prime oil and pure fuel producer, so the world is hooked on its exports. In truth, the European Union will depend on Russia for greater than a 3rd of its pure fuel.

That’s why Germany’s transfer to cancel the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will ship Russian pure fuel to Germany is so dramatic. Russia’s ex-president appeared to brag in regards to the EU’s dependence Tuesday, tweeting, “Welcome to the courageous new world the place Europeans are very quickly going to pay 2.000 euros for 1,000 cubic meters of pure fuel!”

The best approach to goal Russia with sanctions is to cut off its supply of oil and natural gas to the West. However that might set off even larger costs and more pain for consumers. Oil costs already are near 8-year-highs and function a serious driver of inflation. It’s already taking a toll politically and these choices will likely be robust to enact for the West’s leaders.

“The president of america has to fret about his home polls heading into a brand new election season and leaders in Europe have their very own home political constraints as properly,” CNN political analyst Josh Rogin instructed me. “It finally ends up limiting the vary of responses, the vary of motion that the allies can put into place in response to Putin’s aggression. In fact, Putin is aware of that. That’s a actuality of democracies and it’s a bonus for Putin that he’s certain to take advantage of.”

The White Home and allies have introduced their first round of sanctions — on two banks, sovereign debt and a few oligarchs — with extra sanctions coming if Putin persists. Biden acknowledged sanctions would take a toll on People, too.

“Defending freedom could have prices for us as properly and right here at residence,” President Biden mentioned Tuesday. “We should be trustworthy about that.”

He referred to as it “important” to “blunt” larger power prices.

“We’re carefully monitoring power provides for any disruption and executing a plan in coordination with main oil producing customers and producers towards a collective funding to safe stability and world power provides,” Biden mentioned.

What might that imply? Stress on producers to open their spigots, coordinated releases of strategic oil stockpiles with allies, a fuel tax vacation, or incentives for home shale producers.

However the president’s instruments are restricted.

“We have now levers, Putin has levers and after we’re all finished pulling all of our levers, we’re again to sq. one,” Rogin mentioned. “The Russians’ capability to control the power markets will all the time be larger than the Europeans’ capability to mitigate these manipulations.”

Within the meantime, Greg Valliere of AGF Investments is telling purchasers to anticipate Russian pushback with three most important objectives: “Driving a lot of the West right into a high-inflation financial disaster; dividing the US between isolationists and internationalists, and launching a cyberwarfare assault on the US and Kyiv, disrupting every thing from ATMs to company boardrooms.”

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