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An embargo on Russian oil will not stop the war or save any lives in Ukraine, a European Parliament member from Ireland, Clare Daly, has said.
‘Not because I’m sorry for Russia, not because I’m on the Putin payroll, but because sanctions don’t work. They have never stopped a war,’ Daly said in a speech on Friday, as quoted by the Irish Independent.
Daly, who is a member of the Independents 4 Change party, argued that ‘not a single Ukrainian life will be saved’ by the EU’s embargo on Russian oil. ‘If Europe isn’t buying it, someone else will. The ordinary people of Europe will be paying that price.’
The EU proposed this week to phase out Russian oil by the end of this year. Brussels has reportedly carved out exemptions for Hungary and Slovakia, whose economies heavily rely on Russian energy supplies.
Daly said Russia bears some responsibility for deaths in Ukraine and the wave of refugees from the country. At the same time, she argued as did the Pope that the West has also contributed to the conflict.
‘But we cannot ignore the part played by the EU and the US. That’s not to excuse Russia. It’s simply to explain, because you cannot solve a problem if you don’t understand the root of it.’
Daly recalled how Pope Francis suggested this week that NATO’s eastward expansion ‘perhaps facilitated Russia’s defensive military campaign in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.
‘Pretty much the first thing I thought was: ‘Was he robbing my notes?’ The second thing I thought was that the Pope was going to be accused of being a Putin puppet or an embarrassment and a disgrace,’ Daly said. She added that by sending more weapons to Kyiv, ‘the response of the EU and the Irish government had pretty much been to escalate the war and to ensure it continues.’
The UK pledged an additional £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in military support and aid to Ukraine on Saturday. The move was announced a day after the US promised $150 million in further military aid to Kyiv. Moscow, meanwhile, has accused the West of flooding the country with weapons.
Russia preemptively attacked the neighbouring state after Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbas republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.
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