The United States is taking aim at the heart of the Russian economy over the military operation in Ukraine, with officials suggesting that the Biden administration is willing to act alone to ban imports of Russian oil at a time when Americans are stung by soaring prices at the pump.
President Joe Biden talked with the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Monday to build support for a ban on Russian energy imports.
Washington and Europe were quick to start piling new sanctions on Moscow over the invasion. The bans have pushed oil prices to their highest levels in years. Benchmark US crude was up 2 percent to about $118 a barrel on Monday, and the international price skyrocketed to $139 before falling back to about $123 a barrel.
Europe is heavily dependent on Russia to meet its growing energy needs and may prove more reluctant to go along with an outright ban, but some European nations have expressed a willingness to reduce their reliance on Russian imports.
A senior US official, who did not want to be named, told Reuters that “it is likely just the US if it happens,” referring to a ban on Russian energy imports.
The US and its European allies are discussing banning Russian oil imports over the operation in Ukraine.
Germany, the biggest buyer of Russian crude oil, has ruled out banning energy imports at least for now. Germany is attempting to expand its use of alternative energy sources but cannot halt imports of Russian energy overnight, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday.
Meanwhile, the White House is also in talks with US congressional leaders who are fast-tracking legislation that would ban Russian energy imports, putting more pressure on the administration to take action, a source familiar with the discussions told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Congressional leaders appeared to reach an agreement on the legislation on Monday that would ban Russian energy imports to the US and suspend normal trade relations with Russia, a Senate aide told USA Today.
Voting could come swiftly but no schedule has been set.
The White House has been less eager about banning Russian oil imports than members of Congress, worrying that such a move would further increase gas prices at home.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said that “no decision has been made at this point by the president about a ban on importing oil from Russia,” adding that discussions were “ongoing internally” and with European allies.
“I would note what the president is most focused on is ensuring we are continuing to take steps to deliver punishing economic consequences while taking all actions necessary to limit the impact of prices at the gas pump,” she said.
Gasoline prices in the United States are pushing even farther above $4 a gallon, the highest level since 2008. Prices were on the rise before Russia announced the Ukraine operation and have spiraled faster since the start of the war on February 24.
US gasoline prices have surged by 11 percent in the past week to reach a 13-year high as Western sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine continue to disrupt the global energy market.
The national average for a gallon of gasoline has hiked 45 cents in the past week and topped $4.06 on Monday, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).
GasBuddy, a Boston-based tech company tracking fuel prices in the US, Canada and Australia, expects gasoline prices to continue to rise for the time being.
“Forget the $4 per gallon mark, the nation will soon set new all-time record highs and we could push closer to a national average of $4.50,” GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan was quoted as saying by PBS. “We’ve never been in this situation before, with this level of uncertainty. … Americans will be feeling the pain of the rise in prices for quite some time.”
Gasoline prices are even higher in Europe, averaging 1.75 euros per liter last week, according to the European Commission, the equivalent of $7.21 per gallon.
Russia warns of ‘catastrophic consequences’
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak warned on Monday that a Western ban on Russian oil imports could send oil prices to unpredictable new levels, perhaps as high as $300 per barrel.
In a statement on state television, Novak said it was “absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market.”
“The surge in prices would be unpredictable,” he said. “It would be $300 per barrel if not more.”
Novak also warned that Russia would move to close the main gas pipeline from Russia to Germany if such a ban takes effect.
ATTENTION READERSWe See The World From All Sides and Want YOU To Be Fully Informed
In fact, intentional disinformation is a disgraceful scourge in media today. So to assuage any possible errant incorrect information posted herein, we strongly encourage you to seek corroboration from other non-VT sources before forming an educated opinion.
About VT - Policies & Disclosures - Comment Policy
I guess it is possible to take hold of a country only when it’s weakened and perhaps broken up. Wasn’t it Cecil Rhodes’ will/intention to bring the good ol’ USA back to the British Empire – maybe it has to be accomplished piecemeal! So watch out Americans, with so many WEF types and Rhodes Scholars around, and they are not your friends, who can tell what they are planning! I’d prepare for the worst.
Seems strange to me that the price of oil had started to rise after the Houthi’s hit UAE, but that is never mentioned at all by anyone. That was sparked by threats of continued attacks and the destruction of Abu Dhabi, which strangely enough was promised, but not forthcoming. This sanctioning of Russian oil to the US is perhaps the biggest indicator of this being a complete setup to further the collapse of US led economy. It was baked in the cake long ago, not yesterday, but seems now is the time to pull the plug. They now have the perfect vehicle for this final push. The people WILL be screaming soon…and loud. This is as expected and neccessay to be able to usher in the solution to the created problem, as these sanctions are not only unnecessary, but plainly suicidal. The sanctioning of Iranian and Venezuelan oil, combined with the C-19 op economic after effects, now this, it’s starting to look even more choreographed. What happens if the Houthis hit UAE at this point? A complete US, if not world-wide meltdown, instigated completely by the US. This is as choreographed as the Boston Marathon, Sandy Hook and 9/11. Likely the WoT was never about the US ruling the world, it was a setup leading to the destruction of the US and the creation of the NWO…whatever the form. Our job was to make the situation dire enough for the solution to be palatable to the sheep. My guess is that this is the switch to the new juggernaut, replacing the worn out and used up paradigm.
Biden just did it. In the next 6 months, numerous small businesses will fail and jobs will disappear in the good old USA. Dumb Americans wanted to help fight Putin, now they will get their chance. Germans not joining national suicide. As a matter of fact, nobody else is. We can save the world. Right.
Comments are closed.