Ukraine says the West must "kill Russian exports" to stop funding Moscow's war machine as EU oil embargo hangs in limbo

Ukraine says the West must "kill Russian exports" to stop funding Moscow's war machine as EU oil embargo hangs in limbo
Ukraine's minister of foreign affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.GLEB GARANICH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
  • "Kill Russian exports," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said at the World Economic Forum in Davos Wednesday.
  • In buying Russian goods, Western nations are funding Moscow's war machine, he explained.

The West must stop buying Russian exports that are funding Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Wednesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"My message is very simple," Kuleba said. "Kill Russian exports."

Western nations have imposed various economic and trade sanctions on Russia, however Kyiv has called for more stringent measures, and Kuleba reiterated them at the conference.

"Stop buying from Russia, stop allowing them to make money which they can invest in the war machine that destroys, kills, rapes and tortures people in Ukraine," he said.

Meanwhile, the European Union continues to weigh a full embargo on Russian oil. If it were to come to pass, Russia's economy would take a severe hit as it would have to slash oil production by 20% within a year or two, according to Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler.


"Cutting production, it's really a worst-case scenario [for Russia], because of the uncertainty of the potential damage it could cause," Smith previously told Insider.

According to the Foreign Minister, the current sanctions aren't hurting Russia's economy as badly as Russia's attack is hurting Ukraine's economy.

The International Energy Agency said Russian oil export revenue is up 50% since the start of 2022, with the Kremlin pulling in about $20 billion per month in sales. After a slight dip in exports when the invasion in Ukraine began, Russia's shipping volumes are returning to pre-war levels, the IEA said.

Reuters reported May 9 that the EU ditched plans to clamp down on oil tankers that ship Russian crude to third countries, though it kept restrictions on insurers.

"If you tell the shipping industry that everyone carrying Russian oil anywhere in the world will face problems, this will be a big issue," Kuleba said.


All the while, China has boosted its Russian oil purchases by nearly 50% in May, and it's nearing 1.1 million barrels per day of Russian crude brought by sea, per Reuters.

Separately, Russia offered the UK to unblock Ukrainian ports in exchange for lifting sanctions amid the growing global food crisis, but that proposal was rejected. Kubela said of the move: "This is clear blackmail."