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Ukrainian activist group calls on G7 to address urgent issue stemming from Putin's war machine: 'The G7 stands at a crossroads'

Russia has evaded many economic consequences by selling oil to different countries and by "deploying a shadow fleet of tankers."

Russia has evaded many economic consequences by selling oil to different countries and by "deploying a shadow fleet of tankers."

Photo Credit: iStock

Over two years ago, in late February 2022, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. And despite the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands, the war doesn't seem to be slowing down. 

But one Ukrainian nonprofit, Razom We Stand, believes that it knows the fastest route to ending the war: cutting off Russia's constant influx of dirty energy funds and driving a "clean energy revolution in Ukraine and globally."

Surely enough, Russia does depend heavily on its dirty energy revenue. This year, Bloomberg estimates that Russia will earn nearly $126 billion in tax revenue from oil and gas, allowing the country to funnel cash into its war chest. 

A plea to the G7

In a recent press release, Razom We Stand — "razom" is Ukrainian for "together" — urged G7 nations to "cut off financial flows from Russian fossil fuel exports" and tighten other sanctions so that Vladimir Putin, who the group dubs a petro-dictator, has less control over geopolitics.

Beyond cutting off Russia's financial sales of planet-overheating energy sources, Razom We Stand implored the G7 to heavily invest in rebuilding Ukraine's energy infrastructure. 

Svitlana Romanko, the founder of Razom We Stand, noted: "The G7 stands at a crossroads: continue enabling this violence, or take a decisive stand to cut off this financial lifeline and champion Ukraine's transition to sustainable, clean energy sources."

Specifically, the group asked for resources to help expand the nation's solar and wind infrastructure, ideally in a decentralized manner to protect against widespread attacks. 

Nearly half of the Ukrainian energy system has been impacted by Russian attacks since the beginning of the war, as Euronews Green reported.

Sanctions and results

There is some evidence that dirty energy sanctions placed on Russia by the U.S. and other allies — of which there have been thousands — have affected the Russian economy. 

Gazprom specifically, a Russian gas company, has faced serious financial consequences after losing its European ties.

However, the degree to which Russia has suffered from sanctions is still debated. Russia has evaded many economic consequences by selling oil to different countries and by "deploying a shadow fleet of tankers," according to Bloomberg.

Vladimir Milov, a former advisor to the late Alexey Navalny, wrote in an Atlantic Council brief that "it is wrong to conclude that sanctions are not working — they are. However, much more work must be done to enhance the effectiveness of sanctions."

Moving forward 

Despite the status of the war between Russia and Ukraine, it's clear that other nations' dependence on dirty fuels empowers leaders to act with fewer consequences.

Securing energy independence, on the other hand, means that we aren't indirectly funding foreign governments who may be using the money for things that we do not approve of. Instead, it means less destruction of nature and less war.  

Romanko sees the potential of an energy-independent Ukraine as an exciting future, telling Euronews Green that "Ukraine must be rebuilt with renewable energy and must become a green economy with no returning back to the dark fossil fuel past."

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