27 May 2022
The ethics of trading with Putin
Western leaders should consider cutting business ties with Russia even if it impacts their own economies.
The moral question of how to limit the funds being siphoned into Vladimir Putin’s war chest should include tougher sanctions and no more Russian gas.
Europe continues to import fuel, minerals, precious metals and food – among other items – but has pledged to phase out certain trade agreements.
Professor Jan Godsell, Dean of the School of Business and Economics, said the West had an ethical obligation to support the people of Ukraine even if it meant harming European and American economies.
She said: “We essentially have a country that's invaded another country.
“Do we just put in sanctions that hurt that country and not us?
“Or do we put in place the sanctions that really hurt Russia too?
“There's been quite a lot of debate in the press about the amount of money continuing to trade for oil and gas which goes into Russia's war chest.
“And whether or not the quickest way to stifle Putin's ability to fund his activities would be to bite the very, very hard bullet of not importing oil and gas.
“That's a moral decision that world leaders need to take a long hard look at considering."
She added: “We all need to stand united with the citizens of Ukraine and any disruption we're seeing as a result of the conflict is minimal compared to what the Ukrainians are going through - that should be paramount in our minds all of the time.”
Prof Godsell’s comments were made on Besieged: A podcast about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
During the episode, Trading with a despot, she also explained how global supply chains work, the panic buying phenomenon and the at-risk goods and resources coming to the UK from Russia and Ukraine.
Besieged is produced by Dane Vincent and hosted by Peter Warzynski and invites experts from Loughborough University to discuss wide-ranging issues linked to the war in Ukraine.