The US has stated that it is in “active discussions” with its European allies about prohibiting Russian oil imports as a further economic sanction for Russia’s incursion of Ukraine. The White House announced late last week that it was looking into reducing US consumption of Russian oil while safeguarding American families from price increases. However, pressure has mounted on the Western world to cut off Russian energy imports to tighten the screws on the Kremlin.
An active discussion about the ban
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the US and its allies are in a very active discussion about prohibiting the import of Russian oil and natural gas as part of a new round of sanctions in retaliation for Russia’s incursion of Ukraine. Earlier this week, the White House publicly rejected lawmakers’ recommendations that the US ban Russian oil, which accounted for 3% of all crude shipments arriving in the US last year.
Republicans and an increasing number of Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, support a ban on Russian oil imports, claiming that Russia’s lucrative exports finance Putin’s war effort, Aljazeera posted.
An alarming oil price soar
Brent crude hit US$139.13 per barrel at the start of trading on Monday, up more than $20 from Friday’s close of $118.03. The all-time high of $147.50 was set in July 2008, but some analysts believe it could be surpassed due to the geopolitical impact of the Ukraine crisis.
According to The Guardian, when trading resumed on Monday, stock markets took a turn for the worse, with more large losses. By 7 a.m. GMT, the Nikkei in Tokyo had fallen nearly 3%, the Hang Seng had dropped 3.6 percent, and the Shanghai index had dropped 2.3 percent. The FTSE100 is down 2.6 percent in futures trade, while the S&P500 is down 1.3 percent. The panic on trading floors sent safe havens skyrocketing, with gold reaching as high as $2,086 per ounce, its highest level since mid-2020.
How much oil the US imports from Russia?
The United States imports Russian oil, but it is not overly reliant on supplies. It accounted for 3% of US crude oil imports and 1% of total crude oil processed by US refineries. In comparison, the United States imported 61% of its crude oil from Canada, 10% from Mexico, and 6% from Saudi Arabia in the same year.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) trade association stated that the US imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and 500,000 bpd of other petroleum products from Russia in 2021, Reuters wrote.