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    The heads of the European think tanks: “Tougher sanctions are needed.” Here are their PROPOSALS

    Ten European economists signed a joint statement on Friday calling on EU leaders to impose further sanctions on Russia in order to stop Moscow’s actions in Ukraine without resorting to military means.

    “The Union should consider stronger measures affecting the economies of Russia and Belarus and strengthening the resilience of the Union and the West”, the signatories of the open letter said. According to it, this is necessary because “Russian and Belarusian aggression against Ukraine is escalating.” However, they stressed that “the current sanctions are working, but the Putin regime is not taking any action to end the war.”

     

    The authors demanded that the European Union “ban euro transactions and freeze foreign assets of Russian banks for which sanctions have not yet been imposed.”

     

    “The extension of EU sanctions to other financial institutions is crucial to the destruction of Russia’s financial system”, they wrote.

     

    The signatories agreed that all Russian banks should be completely cut off from the SWIFT system, as the current SWIFT arrangements “only apply to selected banks accounting for a quarter of Russian assets.”

     

    It says: “The Union must become independent of Russian gas, oil and coal. We must block the import of energy resources, which account for 57% of Russian exports. By continuing to buy Russian coal, oil and gas, Europeans are indirectly financing Putin’s war in Ukraine.”

     

    “Economic sanctions will be tough for us Europeans, but that is the price of freedom. If we are not prepared to pay that price, to defend European freedom, we may at some point have to pay a much higher price, human lives, to preserve our freedom in the near future,” they insisted.

     

    The open letter was signed by Christopher Coker, Director of LSE IDEAS, a foreign policy think tank, Sébastien Maillard, Director of the Jacques Delors Institute, Benjamin Haddad, Senior Director of the European Centre at the Atlantic Council and Marian Gorynia, President of the Polish Economic Society.

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