Joe Biden and the other G7 leaders met Ukrainian President Zelensky in a virtual meeting on Sunday. New sanctions were agreed upon against Russia on the day before Putin’s Victory Day celebrations Monday. Biden has been slow to sanction Russia but continues to think that they will eventually deter Putin from continuing his invasion into Ukraine. So far, that has not been the case.
The sanctions are meant to hit Putin in his pocketbook so he has more difficulty in financing his war. The other G7 countries agreed to follow the lead of the United States and commit to phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil. Those sales are Putin’s main source of income and how he finances his war in Ukraine. Other sanctions will cut off Russian-state controlled television stations from American advertisers and prohibit Russians from using U.S. accounting services. The virtual meeting with Zelensky took a little more than an hour.
‘We commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil,’ the leadership of the seven nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States – said in a statement.
‘We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies.’
It is not clear how long it will take for some European countries to put an end to purchasing Russian oil. Germany, for example, is very dependent on Russia for its energy needs. It will not be as easy for Germany as it will be for some countries. A Biden administration official released a statement.
‘Taken together, today’s actions are a continuation of the systematic and methodical removal of Russia from the global financial and economic system. And the message is there will be no safe haven for the Russian economy if Putin’s invasion continues,’ a senior administration official told reporters on a briefing call.
Italy is also heavily dependent on Russia for its energy needs yet it is moving forward with contracts with other countries. He’ll meet with Biden this week.
Italy Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office said in a statement that the G-7 leaders “reiterated the commitment to diversify energy sources, reducing. dependence on Russian supplies.” Italy, heavily dependent on Russian natural gas when the war began, has since secured several agreements for alternative gas supplies from other countries. Draghi is scheduled to meet with Biden in Washington on Tuesday.
Too bad Biden’s bone-headed moves against America’s energy independence now restrict how much oil and gas we can export to other countries. Think of the opportunities American producers could reap now. Oh well. Keep it in the ground is the mantra of the Biden administration extremists and the progressive wing of the Democrat Party.
What took so long with the latest sanctions? The sanctions cut off Russian-state controlled television stations from American advertisers and that should have been done at the beginning of the invasion, especially as international companies were making the decision to stop doing business in Russia while the war is going on. As far as the sanctions that stop Russians from using U.S.- provided management and accounting consulting services that enrich oligarchs, that also should have been an early sanction. Biden has been slow on all the sanctions and that includes sanctions that will squeeze the oligarchs.
The White House claims the strategy is working.
‘As a result of our export controls, Russia is struggling to replenish its military weapons and equipment,’ the administration said in a statement on Sunday.
‘Almost 1,000 private sector companies have left Russia, and reports indicate that more than 200,000 Russians, many of whom are highly skilled, have fled the country. All of these costs will compound and intensify over time.’
Let’s hope so. There is one oligarch that sticks out as one who has escaped any sanctions against him by Team Biden. He happens to have ties to Hunter Biden. That’s probably just a coincidence, right?
Hunter had a breakfast meeting with billionaire Vladimire Yevtushenkov in 2012. The Russian oligarch was on a three-day visit to the United States. The breakfast was at the Ritz-Carlton hotel near Central Park. Investigative journalist Vicky Ward published that information on her Substack account at the end of April. The information was stored on a computer server at Sistema, Yevtushenkov’s business conglomerate. Ward said that the document was copied by a former Sistema insider who was “concerned by what it shows.” A spokesman for Sistema confirmed the meeting took place. Yevtushenkov was scouting possible investment opportunities during his business trip. Let’s remember that in 2012, Daddy Joe, a.k.a. The Big Guy was vice-president in the Obama administration. Hmm.
The U.K. has sanctioned Sistema and Yevtushenkov but no action has been taken by the Biden administration.
“There was no follow-up from the meeting and Mr. Yevtushenkov has not met or had any contact with Hunter Biden since then,” the spokesman said in an email.
The London Stock Exchange suspended trading of shares in Sistema on March 4 in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The company’s shares are now traded on the Moscow Stock Exchange, where they were selling Friday afternoon for less than 13 rubles each, down from a 52-week high of 34.42.
Yevtushenkov, whose mansion in London’s posh Holland Park neighborhood has been picketed by pro-Ukrainian protesters, was personally sanctioned by Britain on April 13.
In response, he officially gave up control of Sistema by reducing his stake in the company to 49.2% by transferring 10% ownership to his son.
Hunter looks to be as corrupt as can be, given the information coming forward from his famous laptop and the investigation conducted by some in the Senate. We know Joe’s been caught lying that he knows nothing about Hunter’s shady business activities because there is evidence of Joe meeting Hunter’s contacts. I hope when Republicans take back the Senate, hopefully after the November midterm elections, Biden Inc. will finally begin to be held accountable for their actions.