Khodorkovsky believes that the EU should have secured alternative oil and gas supplies before embarking on an embargo, or should have considered another approach, such as imposing tariffs on Russian energy.
“I was amazed to find that there was no agreement on any alternative supplies. Instead, EU countries had to replace Russian energy supplies by speeding up negotiated ad hoc contracts, he told the server Politico Khodrokovsky, who arrived in Brussels on Tuesday for a two-day meeting with EU officials.
By “drilling a hole” in its own finances, the Union is now less able, according to Khodorkovsky, to “pour cash into the most important task of buying more weapons for Ukraine.”
“At the moment, energy sanctions are hurting Europe, not Russia. My view was and remains the same – what on earth are you doing? ”He stated.
After negotiations blocked by Hungary in May for almost a month, EU leaders agreed that the EU will gradually stop importing Russian oil by tankers, which account for more than two-thirds of total imports from Russia to EU countries.
“The problem is that today’s Western politicians have never negotiated with a gangster,” Khodorkovsky said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “You can only start negotiating with him when he feels he is in a weaker position,” said the businessman.
“EU could buy weapons for money”
According to Khodorkovsky, the West has lost $ 100 billion to $ 200 billion to adopt all kinds of energy sanctions.
“If Ukraine had acquired weapons worth at least $ 50 billion instead of $ 10 billion, the situation would be completely different now – without the introduction of any energy sanctions,” he said.
Politico said that several experts, in line with Khodorkovsky’s idea, said that the introduction of tariffs would be reasonable, because the redirection of oil to other countries would be difficult for Moscow with the existing infrastructure.
“This means that Russian energy companies would probably absorb higher export costs to Europe, reduce their margins and eventually cut from Moscow’s military budget,” the paper writes.
Khodorkovsky, the former head of oil giant Yukos, spent ten years behind bars in Russia after displeasing the Kremlin for his support of the opposition and political ambitions. Following his release in 2013, he led a campaign to promote democracy and human rights in Russia through his Open Russia organization. He now lives in exile in Britain.
Khodrokovsky February He said Putin’s goal was to take control of Ukraine, destroy its defenses and establish a puppet government. He called the 69-year-old Putin a dictator who lives in a tightly controlled information bubble and must constantly prove his power around him.