Tuesday, 8 March 2022

War in Ukraine: US, EU and UK target Russia oil and gas sector

The UK is phasing out Russian oil and the EU is sharply reducing gas imports as countries harden their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The US is likely to make a similar announcement on oil later on Tuesday.

The European Commission said it would reduce demand for Russian gas by two-thirds – the EU gets 40% of its gas from Russia.

The measures are meant to hurt Russia, with its economy heavily dependent on energy exports.

But such action could also send prices soaring. Investor fears of an embargo drove Brent crude oil to $139 (£106) a barrel at one point on Monday – its highest level for almost 14 years.

Russia earlier warned it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West bans Russian oil.

The UK is to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Twitter.

He said businesses should “use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected”.

US President Joe Biden is expected to make the announcement at 10:45 local time (15:45 GMT), US media reports. The White House has not confirmed the ban on oil, but said the president would be announcing further actions against Russia.

The move has political support. On Monday senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress announced a bipartisan agreement to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.

“Taking these actions will send a clear message to Putin that his war in unacceptable and the United States stands firmly with our Nato allies,” they said. “We are committed to using the tools at our disposal to stop Russia’s unconscionable and unjust war.”

About 8% of US oil and refined product imports come from Russia, while Russia makes up about 6% of the UK’s oil imports.

The EU is much more reliant on Russian energy, and said it would switch to alternative supplies and expand clean energy faster to fill the shortfall, with the aim of making Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels “well before 2030”.

The post War in Ukraine: US, EU and UK target Russia oil and gas sector first appeared on World News Guru.


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