Russia Sidesteps Sanctions to Supply Energy to Willing World

Russia is finding ways to keep its economy propped up despite tighter and more sweeping Western sanctions hitting the Kremlin for its war on Ukraine. 

Economists have estimated that Russia will earn about $320 billion from energy exports this year, an increase of more than a third since last year. 

Russia’s ruble has already bounced back to its pre-war price against the U.S. dollar. This is despite Europe preparing to join the United States in even tougher sanctions against Putin’s inner circles and their families, as well as other financial establishments such as public and private banks. 

Russia’s oil output declined in April, but the country is still keeping that energy cash flow. This has deeply frustrated western leaders. 

The ability to still find ways around the sanctions to secure economic revenue streams has given Russian President Vladimir Putin a win in his country, even though Russia is becoming more and more isolated from he rest of the world. 

Experts have said that there is still no doubt that financial sanctions and other sanctions have weakened Russia’s economy. However, they say that sanctions fall short of completely crippling the economy because they do not interrupt the flow of revenue from exports. 

The European Union is struggling to cut off Russian energy supplies. Some countries are extremely dependent on energy coming out of Russia. EU ambassadors met this week to agree on the fifth round of sanctions, and to go over proposals to phase out Russian coal in a step towards addressing energy imports and energy security. The European Commission wants to ban most Russian trucks and ships from entering the EU. 

EU measures are being coordinated with the U.S. and the G7 allied nations. Governments are increasing penalties against Putin after the world saw atrocities committed against civilians in Ukrainian towns, especially in Bucha. 

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