It’s hard. Is that so?

The aggravation of the situation in Ukraine, where Russia has launched a full-scale ground war, has provoked a united response from the United States and its NATO partners. Some political analysts have praised President Joe Biden and the White House for sanctions that have left Russia’s economy in ruins.

But will that be enough to force Vladimir Putin to step down? MP Lisa McClain (R-Bruce Twp.), Who sits on the House Committee on the Armed Forces, does not think so.

“He’s an authoritarian, evil man,” she said in an interview Friday afternoon. “If we really want to end this war, we need to hit them where it hurts.”

This means the cessation of oil supplies from Russia, a step that is gaining momentum, and McClain believes it is ripe.

“Nancy Pelosi even agrees with me,” she said, noting the left-wing Democrat and Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is the political opposite of McClain.

McClain considers Biden’s reaction to Russian aggression slow and ineffective.

“He said that energy is the only thing that is not on the table,” she said. “Imports of Russian oil should be stopped today. The sanctions do not work. “

Of those sanctions in force, she added that they should have been imposed when the first Russian tank swept the Ukrainian border.

“At the time they invaded, we had to impose sanctions quickly,” McClain said. “This is not a party issue. It’s frustrating. It’s time to lead from the front. “

Her view contrasts with some political analysts who believe the president understood this correctly, including Politico, who offered the following assessment: “It was the patience of Biden and his team and close consultations with European allies that led to the extraordinary unity . Biden’s patience awaiting sanctions until the invasion, even in the face of strong criticism, was not justified … Biden said that Germany would abandon the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline if Putin attacked, and he was right, because all time engaged in quiet diplomacy on the subject. The emergence of Biden’s forces in NATO countries has prompted other countries to do the same. Biden’s leadership in sanctions has helped reluctant allies to follow suit. All this was done without shame and pointing fingers.

While McClain rejects this analysis, her decision to stop the flow of Russian oil is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. As gas prices rise to inflation-free levels, which have not been observed since 2008, Biden was reluctant to take the move, fearing the impact it could have on an economy emerging rapidly from the COVID-19 pandemic, but doing so with a counterweight historical levels of inflation caused by lack of supply and intense demand.

On Friday, the Associated Press reported that a divided Congress was approaching the move, and Republicans such as McClain and her fellow Democrats are finding common ground that is likely to provide cover for the president if the move is made.

While the U.S. imports less than 10% of total oil from Russia, that number rose 24% last year, according to the Associated Press, largely due to a ban on imports from Venezuela and Syria that was introduced in 2019. McClain says America contributes $ 70 million a day to Russia’s economy from the oil we import.

“They need two things to wage war: people to fight and money,” she said.

Some market analysts argue that the ban on Russian oil will not greatly affect the prices paid here. Conversely, the move is unlikely to do much more damage to the Russian economy, as its main importers are European countries facing a much more immediate threat of Russian aggression than the United States.

Assuming this is true, a ban on Russian oil, if the United States can persuade its NATO counterparts to follow our example, could damage Russia’s economy and Putin’s ability to maintain the trust of his people by the ruling oligarchs and his mother. whose children. at the forefront.

Jeff Payne is the editor-in-chief of The Macomb Daily. He can be contacted by email at or at 586-783-0228.

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