Sanction Russian Oil and Gas Now!

Sanction Russian Oil and Gas Now!

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Why this petition matters

Started by V Putin

A week ago, the largest country in the world invaded its neighbor, following a speech by Vladimir Putin explaining that Ukraine had no right to its own sovereignty. Now, Russian troops shoot missiles at what had been, up until a week ago, peaceful, modern European cities. Hundreds (if not thousands) of civilians have already died directly from such strikes, including many children. Countless more are at risk due to lack of medicine, food and other supplies. War crimes have been committed and *are being committed* even as we watch. Should Vladimir Putin's wicked assault prevail, the consequences for Ukraine will be unthinkable. Analysts have warned we may witness a modern genocide, and leaked intelligence reports indicate Putin plans to take ghastly measures, including public executions, to frighten the brave Ukrainian defenders. We have not seen such horrific crimes on such a scale in Europe since World War II, after which we vowed "never again."

In addition to posing an unimaginable humanitarian crisis, the invasion of Ukraine represents a grave security threat, which is underscored by the dramatic policy shifts that have been made almost instantly, and which would have been inconceivable just a few days ago. Germany has reversed decades of pacifism. Sweden and Switzerland have abandoned neutrality. Finland is considering joining NATO. As countless ambassadors emphasized in the UN's emergency session these past few days, the invasion represents a fundamental threat to the modern, law-based world order. This is not a regional conflict; it is a global crisis, which affects every person in the world.

The reaction of the West has been swift, with many severe sanctions enacted. One option, however, has been left off the table, and this undermines the whole program of sanctions so-far imposed: we have not sanctioned Russia's oil and gas sector. Without such sanctions, Russia's economy may yet survive and Putin's war machine continue, as energy is Russia's main source of revenue. The reason the West has not sanctioned this sector is simple: because sanctioning it will hurt *our* economy--we are buying oil and gas from Moscow right now. Our money, which we work so hard to earn and want to spend wisely, is actually ultimately going from our pockets to state-owned companies in Moscow, into the bank accounts of the government of the Russian Federation, to pay for missiles raining down on innocent civilians in Ukraine. This is *unacceptable.* If we fund it, we are complicit in it.

To our governments: we know that sanctioning Russian oil and gas will hurt. But when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, much as Putin has now done to Ukraine, the world did not turn aside. We acted, because we realized that some principles are worth sacrifice--and indeed, countless sacrificed their very lives, as the Ukrainians are now doing. We are not now advocating war. We realize that in the current environment it would be disastrous. But if in 1939, the countries of the world had declined to make even *economic* sacrifices to fight the Nazi regime--if in fact they were indirectly funding it, on top of that--how harshly history would have condemned them! How repulsive we would see such action!

We are now in a similar moment. A European aggressor state ruled by a dictator with nationalist ambitions has invaded a neighboring sovereign state with the explicit intent to conquer and subdue it. He speaks of those he is as invading in degrading and dehumanizing terms, erasing their very history, culture, rights and human dignity. And because of this, whether we like it or not, there is a massive war again in Europe.

Our generation must decide how *we* will respond to such evil and injustice. If sanctioning Russian oil and gas will truly be effective in helping to end this terrible war, then how can we possibly refuse to do it? Ukrainians are bravely sacrificing their lives. How can we refuse to sacrifice some money out of our pocketbooks? Indeed, how could the Ukrainians take this inaction any other way than to see us implicitly say that their lives are not worth enough to us for us to pay money to save them? We are better than that. Let our words of brotherhood and solidarity match our deeds. Otherwise they are worthless. We know it will hurt--and for some of us it will hurt more than others, so we must take care of each other--but this is *nothing* compared to what the Ukrainians are going through. You, our governments, underestimate us, the people, if you think we are not willing to do this.

Don't be afraid. We are not cowards. If oil and gas sanctions will truly help to end this war, then implement them *immediately.* Ukraine cannot wait, and we can and will handle it. The entire West must be willing to make sacrifices for the Ukrainian cause. If it is not, then there is no need to fight the war at all--for if we are not willing to make these sorts of sacrifices for our neighbors when they are in dire peril, then the West is indeed dead, and Vladimir Putin has already won.

Glory to Ukraine and its brave defenders!

458 have signed. Let’s get to 500!