Global Insight: Targeting oligarchs would punish Putin

Russian oligarchs such as Chelsea Football club owner Roman Abramovich could be the target of future sanctions by the United States and the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing a serious challenge from widespread support - inside and outside of Russia - for his main political opponent Alexei Navalny, Professor Robert Patman told Global Insight.

Billionaire and businessman Roman Abramovich (left) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Getty...
Billionaire and businessman Roman Abramovich (left) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Getty Images
Russians protesting Navalny’s imprisonment are calling on the US and the EU to enact further sanctions, including against the rich and powerful businessmen close to Putin.


‘‘The oligarchs, they are the key to Putin’s power, businesspeople who operate with Putin’s blessing and help fund the regime,’’ Prof Patman said.

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‘‘Interestingly, when the Biden administration announced the sanctions, and they stressed it was being done with the EU... they said they reserved the right to add more sanctions.

‘‘It may mean an escalating series of steps taken against [Putin’s] government, which will bite.’’


So why isn't there a parallel response to the Saudi state execution of Khashoggi in Istanbul? Anwar al-Awlaki was a US citizen illegally killed by his own government in an internationally illegal extrajudicial assassination. This is also happening in Columbia, Haiti, Israel, Chile, Bolivia, Rwanda, Somalia, El Salvador, Bosnia, Philippines, Iran, the list goes on and on. Why is our outrage so hypocritically selective? The USA is guilty of hundreds more extrajudicial murders (under Article 23(b) of the 1907 Hague Regulations) than any other nation. Why do we only fear for respect of international law when it's not our allies breaking it. Do we not think the rest of the world sees this bigotry?

The West's arrogance is unbelievable! Navalny had a suspended jail term for embezzlement. He should have returned to Russia on the due date and should have reported to the authorities. He failed to do so and the Russian court of law sent him to jail, which would have happened anywhere else in the world, including NZ. Why does the West interfere with the court verdict? The Russian Federation is a sovereign country.

I think I know, the U.S. is mad about the Northern Stream gas pipeline. They are doing all possible to sabotage it and hope that the new sanctions will do the job ! It doesn't matter that the Russian people are suffering!

The EU is a corrupt union managed by unelected, corrupt and spinless bureaucrats. They are silent about Julian Assange, who's "crime" is exposing America's war crimes! That is hypocrisy at its finest, equally disgusting as their latest faux pas - stopping the vaccine shipment for Australia! That's the EU's real, ugly face!

As for Putin - don't worry ODT. He is seasoned - has been bullied by the West since he was elected as RF's president. He will handle the latest attack with aplomb.


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