Irishman in Moscow says EU sanctions won't destabilize Russian economy

Irishman in Moscow says EU sanctions won't destabilize Russian economy

With Russian troops now approaching the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the public in Moscow are still trying to come to terms with Vladamir Putin's actions.

Tanks have been seen just a few miles from the centre and people have been told to stay at home, and there are concerns Moscow is planning to overthrow the government.

Alan Moore is an Irishman and Director of the International Office of the National University of Science and Technology in Moscow. He says that Russians are 'disappointed' by the actions of President Putin.

"The vast majority, 99% of the population is thinking 'what the hell is going on?! This isn't what we wanted'. And a lot of people are thinking 'just don't: we don't need this, we don't want this, don't get involved in this'


Last night, thousands of Russians marched on the streets in opposition to the invasion of Ukraine, with many arrested on 'public order offences' - an estimated 600 in Moscow alone - where the police blocked off access to the Pushkinskaya Square in the city center.


Protesters also took to the streets in Putin's home city of St Petersburg, where this year's Champions League final was due to take place, however that has been stripped and switched to Paris this morning by UEFA.

Manchester United have withdrawn from their commercial partnership with Russian airline Aeroflot while Formula One's Russian Grand Prix has also been cancelled.

There is a glimmer of diplomatic hope - as the Kremlin says Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to hold talks with Ukrainian officials.

Meanwhile, the country's neighbour, Poland, is preparing to close its airspace to Russian aircraft from midnight.


Yesterday, the Russian Embassy in Ireland issued this statement, which they said the attack was aimed at 'stopping the bloodshed inflicted by the Ukrainian military on the people of Donbass' and that 'there is no objective to occupy Ukraine'.


Many in Ireland have dismissed the statement as further lies from an Ambassador who promised last week that there was no intention to invade the former Soviet state, however Moore says it's all largely irrelevant.

"It doesn't matter what we believe..." he told Beat News from his office in Russia's capital "'s what they believe.

"We all know this is a load of tosh, but this is what they think and what they believe. And there will be enough who will think there is some justification.

"I really do believe, and this is something I got from the Ukrainian embassy, that they don't know what's going on. This morning they told me that everything is okay and a couple of hours later they (the Ukranian students in Moscow) are being sent out of Russia and they're breaking all diplomatic ties."

Asset freezes on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be agreed by the EU this afternoon.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney says the EU should consider expelling Russia from the Swift global banking system in a further round of sanctions, and has called it 'the toughest sanctions ever agreed'.

The Taoiseach has said Ireland is in favour of freezing the assets of Putin as part of EU sanctions, but admitted they won't be enough to stop the invasion of Ukraine.

Moore believes Russia's economy is well prepared for what the EU will announce.

"When you look at the idea of that sanctions will starve out Russia and it will be very difficult, this is the old war

"15 years ago that would have been 100% true, that the price of oil really mattered. However, Russia now has more markets. It has pivoted to the East, even in our work we're looking away from Europe and looking towards China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Asia.

"Growing nations that are hungry for oil from Russia, hungry for technological material support from Russia, hungry for educational support from Russia. So to say "we're not going to lset you sell your oil in America" the Russians say 'good luck' and they walk away."

However, Moore believes that Putin is actually a more moderate voice in the Kremlin, and that some oligarchs and advisors have been seeking a war with Ukraine for some time.

"He's holding the door against a lot of nastier and more vicious elements who want to grab control. They haven't sanctioned Putin and his ministers, they have sanctioned those who - even people here know - are a lot worse."