US, UK, EU move against Russian oil, gas

The US and UK are poised to ban Russian oil and the European Union (EU) is sharply reducing gas imports as countries harden their response to the invasion of Ukraine.
Both the US and British governments are likely to make their announcements later on Tuesday.
The European Commission has just announced it will reduce demand for Russian gas by two-thirds – the EU gets 40 per cent of its gas from Russia.
The measures are meant to hurt Russia, with its economy dependent on energy.
But such action could also send prices soaring. Investors fear of an embargo that drove Brent crude oil to $139 (£106) a barrel at one point on Monday – its highest level for almost 14 years.
Russia earlier warned it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West bans Russian oil.
US President, Joe Biden, is expected to make the announcement at 10:45 local time (15:45 GMT), US media reports. The White House has not confirmed the ban on oil, but said the president would be announcing further actions against Russia.
The move has political support. On Monday, senior Republicans and Democrats in Congress announced a bipartisan agreement to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.
“Taking these actions will send a clear message to President Putin that his war is unacceptable and the United States stands firmly with our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies,” they said. “We are committed to using the tools at our disposal to stop Russia’s unconscionable and unjust war.”
About 8 per cent of US oil and refined product imports come from Russia.
Russia has said it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West went ahead with a ban on Russian oil.
Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander Novak, said a “rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market”, causing prices to more than double to $300 a barrel.
The US has been exploring a potential ban with allies as a way of punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
But Germany and the Netherlands rejected the plan on Monday.
The EU gets about 40 per cent of its gas and 30 per cent of its oil from Russia, and has no easy substitutes if supplies are disrupted. -BBC

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