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The fastest way to stop Putin

Protesters in Berlin. John MacDougall/AFP/Getty

Plenty of people now talk about the “supposed naivety” of globalisation, says Rainer Hank in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. They say the war in Ukraine has shown the dangers of “making the global economy too closely intertwined” – Germany’s dependence on Russian gas and oil, for example, limits how we can sanction Vladimir Putin. This ignores the upside: these networks of trade mean we can react to Putin’s “barbarism” with an “economic war” that properly punishes him, and yet doesn’t escalate the military situation. We could never have done this with the Soviet Union, which was “hardly integrated” into the world economy to begin with.

But even an economic war requires sacrifices. And it seems that, despite the constant “babble of solidarity”, German politicians don’t have the stomach for an oil and gas embargo of Russia. They should reconsider: Russian economist Sergei Guriev says it would be the “fastest way” to stop Putin’s war. Moscow can’t import goods or service its national debt without energy revenues. And while it wouldn’t have a “nice” effect in Germany, our economy has coped with far worse: the oil crisis in 1973, for example. Cutting off Russian energy won’t lead to “the end of the world” over here – that’s what Mariupol and Kyiv are going through right now. We must do all we can to stop it.