President Biden announced that the United States will ban Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports in order to directly punish Russia for invading Ukraine. Russia also has threatened to withhold its natural gas supplies to Europe as a punishment for imposing sanctions. The Hill reported that news outlets quoted Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak threatening the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline. The pipeline sends natural gas to the continent.
Russia provides a resounding 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas. “We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said. Germany made the decision to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from supplying more gas.
Novak understands how dependent the world is on its oil production and warned against banning Russian oil imports. “It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market” added Novak.
“The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more” he warned. Biden is expected to “announce actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine.”
The European Union also announced on Tuesday they are creating a plan to eliminate European reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2030, also a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The European Commission said in a statement the proposal could reduce the EU demand for Russian gas by two thirds by the end of 2022.
“We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. “We need to act now to mitigate the impact of rising energy prices, diversify our gas supply for next winter and accelerate the clean energy transition.”
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