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Opinion How to end the war in Ukraine

Gas pipelines at the Gazprom PJSC Chayandinskoye oil, gas and condensate facility near Lensk, Russia, on Oct. 11, 2021. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg News)
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Regarding the June 15 news article “Russia’s fuel export revenue soared in 100 days since invasion, report says”:

The current policy of sending weapons to Ukraine while continuing to fund the Russian forces through the purchase of oil and gas allows the Ukrainians to continue the war, but not end it. The problem with the Western sanctions is not that they are not tough enough, but that they are not long enough.

The Russians’ biggest fear is a long-term lowering of the price of Russian oil. The biggest threat to the price of Russian oil is Western energy production. Oil companies, which lost billions of dollars during the coronavirus pandemic, are reluctant to increase production to make up for lost Russian oil, because they believe that as soon as the fighting stops, we will press the reset button and go back to business as usual. Russian President Vladimir Putin is not worried for the same reason.

The way to make Mr. Putin fear the sanctions is to guarantee that the sanctions will be long-term. The free world must agree to impose large tariffs on Russian oil and gas and include these in a treaty. This treaty must specify a long period of time (at least 10 years). This type of agreement would give energy producers (oil, gas and clean energy producers) an incentive to increase production. The threat of this type of long-term agreement would hopefully spur Russia to end the war. If not, then the agreement itself would be devastating to the Russian economy.

Steven Bowers, Herndon

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