War in Ukraine: Refusal to buy Russian oil will lead to catastrophic consequences for the world market, warns Russia
Sylvie Claire / March 8, 2022
Russia warned Monday of catastrophic consequences for the global market of a Western embargo on Russian oil, discussed by Washington and the European Union as a response to Russian military intervention in Ukraine.
It is quite obvious that the refusal to buy Russian oil will lead to catastrophic consequences for the world market, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Alexander Novak.
The price surge may be unpredictable and reach more than $300 for a barrel or more, he said, as quoted by Russian news agencies.
According to Novak, it is impossible to quickly replace Russian oil deliveries to the European market with those from an alternative source. It will take several years and it will be much more expensive for European consumers who will be the main victims of such a scenario, he warned.
The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent crude oil approached $140 on Sunday around 23:00 GMT, close to its all-time high of $147.50 reached in July 2008.
Alexander Novak's statement comes as sanctions on Russian hydrocarbons in retaliation for Russia's military intervention in Ukraine are currently being discussed by the United States and the European Union, with the West having already taken a series of heavy economic sanctions against Moscow in recent days.
Russia is concerned about talk of a possible embargo on its oil, which undermines the fundamentals of the market, creates uncertainty and results in significant consumer harm, according to Novak.
After Moscow recognized the independence of the separatist territories in eastern Ukraine in February, the West also froze the Nord Stream II gas pipeline linking Russia to Germany.
We have every right to take a similar decision and put our embargo on gas deliveries via the Nord Stream I pipeline, which carries Russian gas to Europe and is currently filled to 100%, said Novak.
But we have not taken such a decision for the moment. Although European politicians are pushing us to this with their statements and accusations, he stressed.