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INDIANAPOLIS — The former mayor of Indianapolis has been keeping tabs on the crisis in Ukraine. As a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, Greg Ballard understands the variables that have led to conflict in Europe.

He believes the crux of the conflict goes back to one thing: oil.

“Russia gets more than half of its revenue from oil and gas exports into Europe,” Ballard said on All Indiana Politics. “The west, including America, keeps feeding its enemy and then they wonder why they attack and are able to do all these things. But, oil and gas exports have been the main source of friction, the main source of war for decades.”

Ballard does not believe the war in Ukraine will lead to any changes in energy policy here in the U.S. He believes the U.S should be helping other countries become more energy independent.

“If we get to all countries, or as many countries as possible, being able to use local energy, no matter what that looks like, the world would be a much safer place,” Ballard added. “Unfortunately, we will probably take the angle of ‘buy from us, not from Russia’. Okay, great. But it’s better if those countries have their own energy sources.”

The conflict in Europe is without a doubt leading to even higher prices, especially at the gas pump. Ballard said that inflation is usually a precursor to recession. he advises Hoosiers to “buckle down” and anticipate a recession to come once inflation starts to come back down.