The club of wealthy nations comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the U.S. took the opportunity to renew their vow of standing with Ukraine on all fronts “for as long as it takes.”
China has refused to condemn the Russian war in Ukraine, but some Chinese tech companies have still opted to withdraw their products from the Russian market. The reason for these withdrawals could be pressure by U.S. suppliers.
Experts warn that cutting off Russian oil imports will increase the price of gasoline for European consumers. They also caution that delayed onset of the sanctions will only give Russia time to sell its oil elsewhere before losing European business, weakening the effects of the sanctions.
On April 7th, the EU Parliament voted to place an embargo on Russian oil, gas, and nuclear fuel, which was closely followed by a EU Commission ban on its coal exports. Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly suspended the country from its Human Rights Council.
Just last week Switzerland insisted on its role as a neutral country regarding sanctions against Russia. But following international and national pressure, the government stepped in line with the EU on Monday.
Banning Russia from SWIFT may be one of the quickest ways to cripple Russia financially, but some European countries hesitated to enact such a sanction because it makes commerce with the country nearly impossible.
Russia has sensed opportunity, and will not let go easily now. The noose it has placed on Ukraine’s neck, which has been tightened as a result of Western actions, has now made it very difficult for that country to free itself.