Poland seeks to convince Europe that ‘crushing sanctions’ against Moscow are necessary
Warsaw launched a campaign called “Stop Russia now!” for “recall” European nations on the situation in Ukraine and convince them to introduce tougher sanctions against Moscow, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Saturday. The campaign will feature mobile billboards featuring photos of Ukrainian cities which will be sent to various European locations.
Morawiecki also said he would visit EU capitals himself to remind Europeans “what is happening in Ukraine”. The campaign, which will also include social media posts, according to the Prime Minister, “must make a decisive contribution to ensuring that Europe is not a Europe of indifference, powerlessness, that it not be a Europe of defeat”, he added. Western and southern European nations are ready to return to “normality” also “soon,” Morawiecki said, adding that the campaign aimed to “awakening consciousness” from Europe.
Photos placed on mobile billboards by Polish authorities juxtapose the devastation of Ukrainian cities with peaceful life in Europe. Each billboard also has a read slogan “Stop Russia now!” A separate display panel indicates that “Blood Oil Fueling Russia’s Genocide of Ukraine.”
russia kampania #StopRussiaNow. Grafiki wyruszające w Europę mówią: dość lawirowania w sprawie pomocy Ukrainie. Dość kluczenia i blokowania realnej pomocy. Dość taryfy ulgowej dla tyrana i mordercy. Trzeba zatrzymać Rosję teraz i przebić się przez wall europejskiej obojętności. pic.twitter.com/wxt13KxU9Y
— Mateusz Morawiecki (@MorawieckiM) April 23, 2022
“Germany, France, Austria, Italy: these countries must do their utmost to stop the war in Ukraine”, Morawiecki told the media at a press conference at the National Stadium in Warsaw, talking about his upcoming visit to European capitals and campaign goals.
The Prime Minister admitted that the sanctions imposed by the EU, the United States and their allies so far have had little effect on Russia. “Look at the ruble exchange rate; what is happening with the Russian economy. Nothing special is going on there.” he said, adding that the restrictions could have some effect, but only in the long term.
Morawiecki then called for “Crushing sanctions…much stronger than the ones that have been imposed.” The move comes as Washington and Brussels are reportedly discussing sanctions aimed at hitting Russia’s energy sector. So far, Western countries have mainly targeted Russian finance and banks, while the EU has also banned coal imports from Russia.
While the United States introduced a total ban on energy from Russia, which has been echoed by Canada, Australia and Japan, EU member states are divided on the issue. Many European countries largely dependent on energy imports from Russia have opposed an immediate and outright ban on Russian oil and gas.
German Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned in March that stopping such imports immediately could “Mass unemployment, poverty, people who can’t heat their homes.” Austria admitted on Saturday that it simply could not afford to ban imports of Russian gas.
Even the United States has been cautious about the possibility of a European oil and gas embargo against Russia, arguing that it could significantly increase world oil prices and harm economies in Europe and beyond. .
Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk Donbass. The protocols negotiated by Germany and France were designed to give breakaway regions a 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. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied claims it planned to retake the two republics by force.
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