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Putin Has a Problem: The West Has Declared War on Russian Oil

War in Ukraine. Image: Creative Commons.
Image of Russian artillery firing.

In response to the continued Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. and the U.K. have banned oil, natural gas, and coal imports from Russia.

This move is yet another financial measure against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime. The U.S., European Union, and several other countries have placed unprecedented sanctions on Russia and key Russian individuals.

Russian Oil, Gas, and Coal? Nyet!  

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that their countries would stop importing oil, natural gas, and coal from Russia because of the invasion of Ukraine. With an executive order, Biden prohibited three things.

First, the importation into the U.S. of Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation, liquefied natural gas, coal, and coal products. Second, U.S. companies and individuals from going into Russia and investing in its energy sector. And finally, any “approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee” of transactions by an American citizen or company on behalf of a foreign person if such a transaction would violate U.S. law and the sanctions against Russia.

“The United States made this decision in close consultation with our Allies and partners around the world, as well as Members of Congress of both parties. The United States is able to take this step because of our strong domestic energy infrastructure and we recognize that not all of our Allies and partners are currently in a position to join us. But we are united with our Allies and partners in working together to reduce our collective dependence on Russian energy and keep the pressure mounting on Putin, while at the same taking active steps to limit impacts on global energy markets and protect our own economies,” the White House said in a press release.

In 2021, the U.S. imported approximately 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Russia. To compensate for this loss and buffer energy prices from skyrocketing, the White House announced that it would be releasing more than 90 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the 2022 fiscal year. In addition, the member countries of the International Energy Agency will be releasing a further combined 60 million barrels of crude oil.

Russian Oil/Energy: What Are The Europeans Doing?

Although the European Union abstained from taking a similar course of action, it announced that it would cut two-thirds of its energy imports from Russia by next year.

On average, the European Union imports 40 percent of its energy needs from Russia. That energy dependence was one of the primary concerns about the attitude of the European bloc apropos Russia should it invade Ukraine. But now, almost two weeks into the war, the European Union has shed its timidity and taken unprecedented actions against Russia, including the approval of a $500 million lethal aid package to Ukraine.

1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business InsiderSandboxx, and SOFREP.

1945’s Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist with specialized expertise in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.