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Destroying Russian refineries is best sanctions policy

20 April, 2024 Saturday
18:30

In addition to the good news about the destruction of the Tu-22M3 strategic missile carrier, there is a positive statement from PACE

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They adopted Resolution 2540 (2024) "The death of Alexei Navalny and the need to confront Vladimir Putin's totalitarian regime and his war on democracy". Regardless of the identity of the murdered man, the resolution contains a number of important things for Ukraine.

I will focus on just one, which continues to be relevant in the context of accusations from a number of American officials that Ukrainian attacks against Russian oil refineries are undesirable. So, PACE believes that under international humanitarian law, Russian oil refineries can be considered legitimate targets of military attacks.

Incidentally, this also coincides with the view expressed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on 10 April that Ukraine has the right to attack Russian military targets outside its territory in self-defence. "This is part of the legitimate right to self-defence - striking legitimate military targets outside the country," Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Finnish President Alexander Stubb. Thus, both the PACE and the NATO Secretary General have diplomatically explained to the Washington trustees of Russian oil refining what is what.

For my part, I would like to point out that the refinery does not just produce petrol, diesel or kerosene, as some people on the banks of the Potomac think when the US Deputy Secretary of Defence claims that the refinery is a civilian facility.

The product range of a refinery ranges from several dozen to several hundred different products, including those for specific purposes.

A few examples on the topic of the day. The abbreviation T-8V is unlikely to be familiar to the average person. This is jet fuel for supersonic aircraft, in particular for the Tu-22M3, which was destroyed by our brave Air Force together with the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine. And this fuel is produced at some refineries using a special technology to ensure that it remains stable when the fuel in the tanks is heated to over 100°C during supersonic flight. Similarly, cruise missiles such as the Kh-101 or Kalibr are fuelled with different grades of aviation kerosene. And a variety of speciality lubricants - turbine, engine, transmission, power and hydraulic fluids - are essential for the operation of aircraft engines, hydraulic systems of aircraft and ships, tank transmissions, helicopter propeller gearboxes and turboprop aircraft such as the Tu-95MS bomber. And the Arctic diesel and special additives that are supposed to ensure the operation of internal combustion engines of military equipment at temperatures down to -60°C? These are also refinery products. And by the way, these refineries are officially staffed by representatives of the Russian Defense Ministry, who carry out military acceptance of the products before they are sent to their intended destinations. A whole range of refinery products are manufactured exclusively for the needs of the Russian army and are not used in the civilian sector. Therefore, the refineries are legitimate military targets!

And finally, in the context of sanctions policy. "The Assembly considers that further restrictions are necessary to prevent the Russian economy from supporting the war against Ukraine. In particular, the Assembly notes that the sanctions to limit the price of Russian crude oil have had a limited effect... also because the price ceiling for Russian crude oil is still set at too high a level". And this statement is yet another confirmation that the most correct sanctions policy in the face of the scaremongering of some Western partners is to destroy Russian refineries!

P.S. Here is a brief summary of what the US did during Operation Desert Storm:

"American aircrafts struck 11 oil refineries, five oil pipelines and production facilities, and numerous oil tankers... The bombing strikes targeted large oil storage facilities, gas-oil separators through which crude oil is transported to refineries, distillation columns, which are essential for modern oil refineries, and the important tie-in section of the K2 pipeline near Baiji, which connects the northern fields, the export oil pipeline to Turkey, and the reverse Iraqi North-South pipeline.''

According to the laws of war, belligerents are allowed to strike refineries and oil storage facilities if they significantly help the enemy to conduct hostilities.

Source

About the author. Mykhailo Honchar, expert on international energy and security relations.

The editors don't always share the views expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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