Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that, the US is discussing a restriction on Russian oil imports with its European allies.
The US has stated that it is in “active conversations” with its European allies considering prohibiting Russian oil imports as an additional economic consequence for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We are now in very active conversations with our European colleagues about prohibiting the import of Russian oil into our nations while, of course, maintaining a constant global supply of oil,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.
The White House made an announcement late last week that it was looking for measures to minimize US consumption of Russian oil while safeguarding American people from price increases, but pressure has increased on Western nations to shut off Russian energy supplies as a tactic to tighten the screws on the Kremlin.
“Our efforts to date have already had a devastating impact on the Russian economy,” Blinken remarked, referring to harsh sanctions that have economically isolated Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.
When asked on CNN on Sunday about Shell’s announcement that it would continue to buy Russian oil – and give the earnings to Ukrainian causes – Kuleba encouraged Shell and other energy conglomerates to cut off Moscow’s main cash source and “stop buying Russian oil.”
“Russian oil and gas smell like Ukrainian blood,” he claimed.
Last week, supply disruption fears pushed European and British gas prices to new highs. And oil prices rose further, with Brent futures closing at $118.11 per barrel, the highest level since 2008.
Similar to Blinken, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has spoken of tightening sanctions against Russia, has not completely advocated an absolute ban on Russian oil — at least not yet.
“The idea is to isolate Russia and make it difficult for Putin to fund his wars,” she told CNN on Sunday. “There is a solid plan today for us to say we have to get rid of our reliance on Russian fossil resources.”
Republican and Democratic senators last week urged President Joe Biden to impose a total boycott on Russian energy imports.
Because of enormous cars, lengthy driving distances, and little public transportation in many locations, Americans are by far the world’s heaviest consumers of gasoline, and rising gasoline prices have traditionally been political poison for US presidents. Consumers are spending 40 cents more on gasoline than a week ago and 57 cents more than a month ago.
According to the Energy Information Administration, the US purchased more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined products from Russia on average per month in 2021, accounting for nearly 8% of total US liquid fuel imports.