Boris Johnson blasts West for not punishing Putin for Crimea – ‘Dependence must end’

Boris Johnson should remain as UK leader says Epstein

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Writing for The Telegraph, the Prime Minister said it was a mistake to continue to rely on Russian oil and gas supplies following the invasion. Mr Johnson also accused Putin of using Russian energy supplies for blackmail.

He said: “As long as the West is economically dependent on Putin, he will do all he can to exploit that dependence.

“And that is why that dependence must – and will – now end.”

“When Putin invaded Ukraine the first-time round, in 2014, the West made a terrible mistake.

“The Russian leader had committed an act of violent aggression and taken a huge chunk out of a sovereign country – and we let him get away with it.

“We decided we could somehow go back to normality.

“Economic relations didn’t just resume – they intensified, with the West taking more Russian gas than ever before, becoming more dependent on the goodwill of Putin and more exposed to the vagaries of the global gas and oil price.

“And so, when he finally came to launch his vicious war in Ukraine, he knew the world would find it very hard to punish him.

“That is why he is emboldened enough to launch indiscriminate assaults on fleeing families. 

“And as his bombs fall, the cost of oil and gas rises still further, meaning less money in your pocket and more in Putin’s.

“The world cannot be subject to this continuous blackmail.”

The UK has vowed to end imports of Russian oil by the end of the year however the EU, which is more reliant on Russian oil and gas, has only announced two thirds drop in Russian gas imports.

The Prime Minister’s intervention will be seen as an attempt to persuade EU countries to go further and end their dependence on Russian energy. 

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Mr Johnson also doubled down on his commitment to make the UK a Net Zero carbon emitter by 2050 despite Tory critics stating that the drive to renewable energy was not the problem.

The Prime Minister has not as yet announced any plans for the return of fracking, but he has backed new drilling in the North Sea despite opposition from the Scottish Government.

Mr Johnson is also due to visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to persuade Gulf States to release oil reserves in order to stem rising oil prices.

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