US and UK will ban Russian gas and oil

US and UK will ban Russian gas and oil
The rate of inflation for natural gas prices rose to 87.5% in April. Credit: Suludan Diliyaer/ Pexels

The United States and the United Kingdom are going to introduce a ban on Russian oil and gas, the countries' governments announced on Tuesday.

During a press conference, President Joe Biden announced that the US is introducing additional sanctions on Russia to put more pressure on its government and economy.

"Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear: we will not be part of subsidising Putin's war," he said, adding that the decision was made "in close consultation" with the US allies "around the world, particularly in Europe."

According to Reuters, oil exports to the US account for 5% of all Russian exports, and about 8% of total US oil imports come from Russia.

Oil prices in the US and Europe are expected to rise further due to the import ban. Speculation about new sanctions has already pushed up US oil prices by more than 8%, to $129 a barrel today. Analysts warn that an import ban could push oil prices up to $200 a barrel.

Also on Tuesday, UK business minister Kwasi Kwarteng also announced that the UK will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.

"This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand," he said.

Additionally, the EU has also made moves to reduce the continent's reliance on Russian gas on Tuesday, saying it aims to cut its demand by two thirds by the end of the year. The UK is less reliant on Russian fossil fuels than many European countries, but Russian supplies still make up 8% of overall imports into the UK, and 18% of UK diesel comes from Russia, reports BBC.

For days, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been asking western countries for stricter sanctions against Moscow. In addition to an import ban on Russian raw materials, Zelenskyy wants NATO to close the airspace over Ukraine, but the NATO countries are not in favour of this for fear of further escalation.

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