Mayor Vadym Boichenko is experiencing first-hand what it is like to be on the front lines of a war. His Ukrainian city of Mariupol has become a focal point in Russia’s offensive against the country.
Boichenko’s message to the West is pretty simple: Stop buying Russian energy.
Boichenko told CNN Friday that if the rest of the world stops purchasing Russian energy, Russia would lose its ability to fund the war.
“Those who buy these products must realize that they are financing the enemy, the enemy's war and the enemies, the damage that the enemy's doing to our cities, cities like Mariupol and they need to stop receiving this money,” Boichenko said. “And once that happens, we believe that in two to three weeks we will stop the enemy and the enemy will be forced to retreat and we will get back, we will counterattack and we will get our territory back.”
While the United States previously announced an embargo on Russian oil, much of Europe has not followed suit. Although very little oil from Russia makes its way to the U.S., Europe would be much more affected by such an embargo.
The United Kingdom, which plans on phasing out Russian oil imports this year, has seen gas prices reach over $6 per gallon in recent weeks. The cost of a gallon of gas in Germany topped $8 a month ago. A gallon of gas in France costs more than $7.
Meanwhile, Ukrainians in Mariupol are hoping another tranche of weapons from the United States will help repel Russian forces. The Biden administration pledged Thursday an additional $800 million in weapons for Ukraine.
“These weapons are very necessary,” Boichenko said. “It will enable us to unblock the region, unblock Mariupol, and it will help us hold up the defense and then to counterattack and eventually free the region and the entire Ukrainian territory of the enemy occupation.”