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Rishi Sunak must cut off Russian oil and gas to wipe out Vladimir Putin


Demonstrators show solidarity with the people of Ukraine at a protest in Parliament Square (Stephen Chung / Alamy Stock Photo)

Oleksii Goncharenko


4 min read

Ukrainians at home and abroad have been keeping a keen eye on political developments in the United Kingdom.

Former prime minister Boris Johnson was our most steadfast and important international ally and supporter. Time and again he proved that he understood what we were facing and what we needed. His first question was always: “What do you need?” He drove the West’s response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of our country.

Rishi Sunak will have seen first-hand how well Boris reacted, as he sat at Boris’s shoulder as his chancellor during Johnson’s tenure. It is now on him to react accordingly, to step up to the mark and reach the same levels of support that Johnson once provided. The initial signs from these early stages of his premiership are good. Sunak has retained the services of a Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary who have been exemplary in their support for our cause.

Ben Wallace has been at the forefront of supplying aid and military supplies, in particular the NLAW anti-tank weapon system, throughout our struggle. James Cleverly, even in his limited time as Foreign Secretary, has been making waves and demonstrating clear support for Ukraine – at the United Nations, calling on the world to reject Russia’s sham referendums and, on a national level, hitting the Iranian regime with sanctions for their supply of military drones that are attacking civilians here in Ukraine.

Sunak knows what he needs to do – he has a clear example to follow and staunch supporters of Ukraine in key positions in his government. All that remains is for him to follow through on this promising foundation and deliver for the Ukrainian people as we continue to push back the Russian tyrant’s army.

More can always be done to support our fight against Vladimir Putin and his invasion. Russian oligarchs have treated London and the UK like their personal shopping centre and property storage. This cannot be allowed to continue. Putin and those around him must have their UK assets seized. Moreover, I hope that he will give serious considerations to proposals that would allow Ukraine to receive reparations from Russia once we have won this war.

The real path to pain for Putin is to hit Russia’s reliance on supplying countries around the world with oil and gas. I am pleased the UK and the world has seen this and taken steps to divest its reliance on Russian supply. The short-term pain from cutting out Russia will be more than covered by developing a reliable national energy network fit for the future of a great nation like the UK.

Given Ben Wallace remains as Defence Secretary, I am very hopeful that the UK will continue to supply us with military supplies and humanitarian aid. Without the support of the West, without western weapons systems, without western aid we might not be pushing Russian forces out of our land. However this flow of support must continue – without this support we cannot be certain of victory. Heavy artillery is the most important weaponry that Nato, the UK and the West can provide for us – it is artillery that has allowed our successful counterattacks across the frontline.

A final point. It is time to remove Russia from the UN Security Council (UNSC). It is a travesty that this state of affairs continues. The invasion of Ukraine and the way Russia has behaved since Putin took over make a mockery of the idea that the UN provides security to nations around the world. It is time that we recognised that Russia and Putin have no right to be a permanent member of the UNSC. The USSR does not exist and Russia has been one of the worst countries in the world in terms of contributing to the destabilisation of global security.

Ukraine is ready to continue its strategic cooperation with the UK. Once we have won, we will not forget the UK’s support.

Oleksii Goncharenko is the Member of Parliament for Odes

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