UK To Ban Russian Oil Imports By The End Of 2022

Kwasi Kwarteng confirms move in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Joe Giddens - PA Images via Getty Images

The UK will ban imports of Russian oil in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the government has confirmed.

Kwasi Kwarteng, the business secretary, announced on Tuesday the UK would 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.

“The UK is a significant producer of oil and oil products, plus we hold significant reserves.

“Beyond Russia, the vast majority of our imports come from reliable partners such as the US, Netherlands and the Gulf. We’ll work with them this year to secure further supplies.”

He aded: “The market has already begun to ostracise Russian oil, with nearly 70% of it currently unable to find a buyer.

“Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas - 4% of our supply - I am exploring options to end this altogether.”

US president Joe Biden is also set to ban Russian oil imports toughening the toll on Russia’s economy.

The move follows pleas by Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky to Western officials to cut off the imports, which had been a glaring omission from massive sanctions put in place on Russia over the invasion.

Energy exports have kept a steady influx of cash flowing to Moscow despite otherwise severe restrictions on its financial sector.

The US will be acting alone but in close consultation with European allies, who are more dependent on Russian energy supplies.

Natural gas from Russia accounts for a third of Europe’s consumption of the fossil fuel. The US does not import Russian natural gas.

The European Union is committed to phasing out its dependency on Russian energy as soon as possible, and the 27 nations’ leaders will meet in near Paris later this week for a two-day summit to work on ways to reduce their dependency on Moscow for fossil fuels.

“We agreed to phase out our dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports,” said a draft of the summit declaration.


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