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American diplomat says Ukraine should continue to disable Russian refineries

American diplomat says Ukraine should continue to disable Russian refineries Photo: Kurt Volker (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Ukraine should continue to disable oil refineries in Russia, according to Kurt Volker, an American diplomat and former US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine.

According to him, he "fundamentally disagrees" with the US position on ending the attacks on Russian refineries.

"Of course, I'm a private citizen, I'm not representing the US government. But my view is that that is fundamentally wrong, and people need to realize that there's a war going on. Every day Russia is attacking Ukrainian energy facilities, they're attacking Kharkiv, they're attacking civilians, they're attacking everything. And to suggest that Ukraine should not be fighting back against things that are empowering Russia's military capability, I find it inexplicable that we would suggest this," Volker says.

He emphasizes that Ukraine should disable these refineries.

"And mostly what they are doing is taking out refineries that take crude oil and turn it into refined products such as aviation fuel for example which which Russian fighter jets and bombers use. Of course, we should knock this out," Volker says.

The diplomat adds that it is very important that Russia does not have a costless war.

"Putin gets away with it in terms of the population in Russia believing that this is a just cause and believing that it is a 'special military operation to get rid of Nazis' because there's no pain inside Russia. So it's important that Russians see that their own military infrastructure is at risk by doing this," he says.

Volker believes that Ukraine should not only continue to destroy the refineries but also attack any military infrastructure inside Russia.

"So I think not only should Ukraine continue taking out refineries, they should also be attacking any military infrastructure inside Russia, particularly that is being used to attack Ukraine. So airfields, logistical supply points, ammunition depots, all of that are military targets, it is legitimate," he emphasizes.

Strikes on oil refineries

At the end of March, the Financial Times reported that the United States had called on Ukraine to stop attacking Russian energy infrastructure. Washington fears that strikes on Russian refineries could lead to an increase in world oil and gasoline prices.

However, after that, the attacks on Russian refineries continued. In particular, on April 2, Ukraine launched a large-scale strike on Russian territory using drones. In Tatarstan, the third largest Russian refinery and the production of the Shaheds were damaged.