John Smith spoke to the National Journal about the Biden administration making exemptions for sanctions related to Russian oil and gas as the country faces stark economic sanctions in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.
According to John, the dead-of-winter timing of the conflict is likely a strategic play by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“It’s all about the winter. It’s all about the cold. Europeans, in particular, rely on the Russian energy market to support their needs,” John said, pointing to the Biden administration’s close collaboration with Europe in the sanctions rollout. “We’re all concerned about the price of energy. It affects every one of us. And Russia is one of the world’s major suppliers. You cut that off, you interfere with that, and you have a real potential to hurt ordinary people.”
He added: “I think oil and gas sanctions become a possibility only when we see Europe with alternative sources of energy. And that is not likely in the short term.”
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