Warning to west
Russia says sanctions may lead to $300 oil
Oil prices could hit $300 per barrel and Western Europe faces losing a large part of its gas supply if more sanctions are imposed on Russia, according to a senior minister in the Kremlin.
The price of oil has already surged as high as $139 – reaching heights not seen since the financial crash in 2008 – but could more than double if US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s goes through with his threat to ban Russian oil imports.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement on state television: “It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market.
“The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more.”
He said it would take Europe more than a year to replace the volume of oil it receives from Russia and it would have to pay significantly higher prices.
“European politicians need to honestly warn their citizens and consumers what to expect,” he said.
“If you want to reject energy supplies from Russia, go ahead. We are ready for it.”
The Reuters news agency reported that Russia is continuing to supply Europe with 40% of its gas but warned of retaliation against the European Union after Germany last month froze the certification of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
“So far we are not taking such a decision,” said Mr Novak. “But European politicians with their statements and accusations against Russia push us towards that.”
The warning comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to allow more oil and gas exploration to go ahead in the North Sea to help increase supply from the region to the UK and reduce Europe’s dependency on Russia.
While the switch to renewable green power remains the long-term goal he said short-term policy had to “reflect the reality that there is a crunch on at the moment”.