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Western allies cut Russian energy imports

US cuts oil & gas, UK to cut oil and EU to remove 66% of Russian gas by end 2022


The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom all announced today that they would be cutting Russian energy imports.


US President, Joe Biden, announced that the United States would be cutting all purchases of Russian oil, gas and energy.


In remarks aimed at the importance of fossil fuels to the Russian economy, Mr Biden said that "we will not be part of subsidising Putin's war."


Watch: US President, Joe Biden, announces an import ban on Russian oil and gas.

Oil goes above $130 a barrel as Biden acknowledges hit to US consumers


Markets reacted quickly to Mr Biden's announcement, which was made just after 11:00 in Washington.


The price of Brent Oil climbed to over $130 a barrel in trading, having started the day at $126 a barrel. Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices were hovering around $100 a barrel.


Mr Biden acknowledged that today's cuts would increase prices at the petrol pumps.


However, he said that last week's decision by the International Energy Agency to release 60m barrels onto the market was one measure by the west to try controlling the price rises.


According to the US energy information administration in 2020, Russia accounted for 7% of all US petroleum imports.


"We will not be part of subsidising Putin's war" US President, Joe Biden

UK to end Russian oil imports by end 2022


The British Government also announced that it would be ending imports of oil from Russia. In a statement it said that Russian oil imports would be phased down by the end of the year.


The Government also said they would look to reduce Russian gas supplies to the UK.


UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said that "In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year."


According to UK Government statistics, in 2020, Russia accounted for 8% of all UK oil imports.


"The UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil & gas throughout this year" UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

EU aims to phase out 66% Russian gas this year


Earlier on Tuesday, the European Commission proposed reducing the bloc's imports of Russian gas by 66% by the end of the year.


The Commission's plans would see the bloc making up the shortfall by diversifying to other gas sources as well as increasing renewables and getting more efficient in energy usage.


Speaking at a press conference at the European Parliament, European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans said "It's hard - bloody hard - but it's possible if we're willing to go further and faster than we've done before".


Watch: European Commission Vice-President says EU can remove 66% of Russian gas imports.

According to European Commission data, Russia accounts for 45% of all EU gas imports and 25% of the bloc's oil imports.


The EU has been criticised for being over-reliant on Russian gas. 2 weeks ago, the German government announced an end to the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which would have brought additional quantities of Russian gas to the EU.


"It's hard - bloody hard - but it's possible if we're willing to go further and faster than we've done before" European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans

Until today, oil and gas had been exempted from western sanctions on Russia over the latter's invasion of Ukraine.


Today's co-ordinated announcements mark a step away from this approach but could see a response from Russia.


On Monday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, had stated his country could cuts gas exports to the west if the west put an embargo on Russian oil.

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