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US government bans oil and gas imports from Russia

Lenin Boscaney
4 min read
US government bans oil and gas imports from Russia – News – WebMediums
President Biden announced the ban on Russian energy imports.

Through a press release, the United States prohibits the import of Russian oil and gas, to which the United Kingdom joined the cause, but the European Union resists this step. From the White House they have added the following:

"The United States is able to take this step because of our strong national energy infrastructure and we recognize that not all of our allies and partners are currently in a position to join us."

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, announced the decision to ban imports of oil, natural gas and coal from Russia, in response to the invasion of Ukraine and after some officials met with the highest president of Venezuela, this end week, on the occasion of lifting the sanctions applied to oil production.

“I am announcing that the United States is targeting the main artery of the Russian economy. We are banning all imports of Russian oil, gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted at American ports and the American people will deal another mighty blow to Putin's war machine," Biden reported.

In addition, the US president acknowledged that the EU disagrees with his decision, since European countries are more exposed to the benefits of Russian energy. He also added:

“We are moving forward with this ban with the understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us. The United States produces much more oil domestically than all of Europe, all the European countries combined. In fact, we are a net exporter of energy. So we can take this step when others cannot.”

Despite these comments, this prohibition would only generate an increase in the prices of these products, taking into account that they have been recovering after the time of the pandemic last year.

A significant rise in the price of a barrel

US government bans oil and gas imports from Russia – News – WebMediums
The Russian government warns that if these sanctions are applied, the price of a barrel may exceed US$300.

The barrel of Brent continues to move at 130 dollars, those of WTI at more than 126 dollars and unstoppable fuels and electricity both in the US and in Europe.

Given this fact, the US government clarifies that companies cannot use the war in Russia as an excuse to raise prices. To counteract this effect, Biden has said that this fiscal year he will release more than 90 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, in addition to an emergency sale of 30 million barrels of oil.

Added to this, the prohibition by the White House also aims to have new energy investments in the Russian countryside. Therefore, it is intended to phase out the import of Russian oil by the United Kingdom despite the resistant EU.

The European Union prefers to have a more neutral agreement, Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany, commented on Monday that it was better for them to pressure the state of Moscow not to charge such a high price for German consumers.

In addition, the EU wants to lower Russian gas imports and increase liquefied natural gas. As for the situation in Europe and Russia, 60% of Russia's oil exports go to Europe and it accounts for 40% of the gas consumed.

It should be noted that the US Department of Energy announced that Russian oil imports fell to zero in the last days of February due to the fact that US companies interrupted their relations with Russia.

And regarding oil prices, President Biden expressed that this is not the time to speculate on prices, since his government will not tolerate these actions and rather, he encouraged everyone to collaborate with their part to help in this situation that crosses Ukraine and affects the whole world.

“We understand that Putin's war against the people of Ukraine is causing prices to rise. We get it, that's obvious. But, but, it is not an excuse to implement excessive price increases or increase profits or any kind of effort to exploit the situation,” Biden added.

However, despite the aforementioned prices, Russia's deputy prime minister, Alexander Novak, in a statement on state television assured that:

Western countries could face oil prices above $300 a barrel and the possible closure of the main gas pipeline between Russia and Germany if governments follow through on their threats to cut off energy supplies from Russia.”

It should be noted that this Monday oil prices reached their highest levels since 2008, exceeding US$ 4 per gallon (3.79 liters).

All within the framework of the statements by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, when he assured that the Biden government and its European allies were considering the possibility of prohibiting imports of Russian oil.