Sanctions against Russia, now! – The Weekly 85

Ever since World War II, Europe has not seen anything like the ongoing clash in Ukraine, which has a major significance for the outside world, too. Although the Russian intervention has clearly been in the making for a while, the blatantly open large-scale military offensive upset any previous expectations. Europe needs to act.

Breaking with all accepted rules, President Vladimir Putin launched an all-out military assault against a sovereign country this week. I am convinced that Europe, if it truly cares about our continent’s peace and democracy, must not leave such a flagrantly uncivilized step unanswered.

Although the Russian aggression has outraged all right-minded people, military action against the Russian army does not seem expedient as we are facing an enormous power. On the other hand, Russia, like so many times in its history, once again has an extremely strong military force coupled with a weak economy.

This gives the West a great opportunity to subdue the aggressor without having to engage in a military clash.

Unfortunately, the European Union, unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, seems quite hesitant to me when it comes to sanctions that are truly painful for Moscow, despite the fact that Putin’s hinterland is much less united now than it was before. If you had any doubts about that, you could see the evidence when even Putin’s innermost circle, i.e., the members of his government were so reluctant to launch the war against Ukraine.

The information flow is limited, but the Russian people were clearly and seriously upset by the order to wage a war against their neighbours, which gives us a chance to force Putin to stop the aggression if we impose the appropriate measures.

What sanctions am I talking about exactly? First of all, Russia must be excluded from the worldwide interbank financial telecommunication system (SWIFT), and Europe must also impose restrictions directly affecting the family members of the Russian elite. However, the fissures in the Moscow leadership cannot be widened unless Europe takes a united stance.

We must admit there’s a lot of room for improvement in that regard, especially because the table of European leaders still includes such Putin lackeys as Viktor Orbán, who obviously serves Russian interests by undermining Europe’s unity. Europe has arrived at a major milestone: this crisis is neither distant nor regional. It directly affects our lives and the societies we live in.

We mustn’t yield to Putin and we mustn’t yield to his European satellites, either. The sanctions against Russia must be imposed, now.