Putin is preparing for a long and all-embracing confrontation with the West, Russia's invasion of Ukraine marking the first stage of his territorial expansion. Europe has been presented with a raft of challenges and threats unprecedented since 1945, the ultimate goal being the elimination of Western civilisation as it exists today. The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is critical to Russia's current system of international relations: if Putin gets his revenge in Ukraine, he will inevitably invade the CEE countries that were once part of the Soviet sphere of influence: this will mark the decline of Europe and its descent into compliant dependence on Russia.
Russia is diverting all the resources it gets from exporting raw materials and energy to finance its war of aggression against Ukraine. The EU sanctions against Russia have taken their toll, severely draining the Russian budget and depriving the Russian military-industrial complex of an essential element base. But Russia still has substantial financial reserves, as well as ways to partially circumvent the sanctions through "grey imports". Additional sanctions need to be imposed, with which the Russian economy will be drained and its budget deprived of a financial influx.
The EU's next sanctions package should include restrictions on pipeline oil, a key revenue stream for Russia. Russia's largest corporations, such as Rosatom, have facilitated and circumvented sanctions since the start of the war; they are part of the Kremlin's war machine that threatens the entire civilised world. If the sanctions against Russia are not made as tangible as possible, Putin's army will bring incalculable misery to every European.
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