Olena Pavlenko for El Heraldo: When a nuclear-armed state forcibly takes over its neighbors’ territories or imposes conditions on them, the world becomes more insecure.
Below is a Ukrainian translation of the original opinion of DiXi Group President Olena Pavlenko for El Heraldo de Mexico.
Russia has been using energy as a weapon for years. Oil, gas or “atoms for peace” are resources that make other countries dependent on it.
And as long as you have the “nuclear” lever, you can control and destabilize entire regions. If Moscow implements its plan to build between 8 and 10 nuclear power plants in the world, the consequences will be felt on all continents.
Russia has long used energy as a weapon against its neighbors: Ukraine, Belarus and Armenia, for example. Furthermore, it has abused the prices of this product, even against Europe. This led European energy policy to review its strategy and reduce dependence on Russian supplies.
Between 2009 and 2014, Moscow led a gas war against Kyiv. Against this backdrop, the Russians stopped supplies, raised prices and then promised a discount on the condition that Ukraine did not sign an association with the European Union.
During the large-scale invasion that began in February 2022, Russia intentionally destroyed Ukrainian oil deposits to starve the country of fuel. He did not stop there and resorted to nuclear blackmail by interfering in the largest power plant in Europe. When Moscow realized that even this could not intimidate Kiev, its goal was to leave the population without electricity and heat. At that time, our companies worked 24 hours a day, without days off, to restore the lost power.
Before the war, 70% of oil products in Ukraine were of Belarusian or Russian origin. After the invasion, any type of cooperation with Russia came to an end. For this reason, the Russians tried to destroy warehouses of oil and its derivatives in Ukraine, and deposits of black gold became the target of missile attacks. Kyiv made many mistakes, but it also learned a lot.
Over the past year, the civilized world has taken many effective measures that first allowed us to diversify the sources of oil and gas supplies, thereby significantly reducing the purchase of hydrocarbons from the Russian Federation. This already has important and very tangible consequences: the Russian budget does not receive enough income and therefore cannot fully finance the war against Ukraine.
Although the Kremlin denies any impact of the embargo on its economy, the deficit in its country’s state budget is growing rapidly. Sanctions are working, but they must be increased and their goal should be to completely replace Moscow as an exporter in the energy supplier market.
The war that Russia is waging against Ukraine sets a dangerous precedent. When a nuclear-armed state forcibly takes over the territories of its neighbors or imposes foreign policy conditions on them, the world becomes more insecure. Moscow has sought to show its superiority and intimidate the international community, but this has only been counterproductive. Today the resistance of Ukrainians is stronger than ever.