If Western countries implemented a “real embargo” on Russian oil and gas, then Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could stop in just a few months, a former economic adviser to Putin told the BBC.
“I would bet that Russian military operations in Ukraine are likely to be stopped within a month or two,” said Dr. Andrei Illarionov, who resigned as chief financial officer of the Kremlin in 2005. British news media.
“It is one of the very effective instruments still in the possession of Western countries.”
Oil is Russia’s most lucrative export commodity, accounting for more than a third of the country’s export earnings last year. Russia’s finance ministry said it expects to bring in an additional $ 9.6 billion in energy sales in April due to the high oil price in recent weeks.
The European Union banned coal imports from Russia last week, but has so far refused to ban Russian oil imports for fear it would push oil prices even higher.
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President Biden targeted the “main artery of Russia’s economy” when he announced last month a ban on Russian oil imports, which accounted for about 8% of all U.S. oil imports last year.
“Russian oil will no longer be acceptable in US ports, and the American people will give another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” the president said when announcing the ban.
Biden announced the release of about 1 million barrels from the strategic reserve last month to combat rising prices and targeted the oil companies, accusing them of not “doing their part” and “chose to make extraordinary profits and without making further investments to help deliver. ”
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Republicans, meanwhile, have criticized the Biden administration for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought oil from Canada to the United States.
“The United States imports nearly 600,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia – a quantity that could have been offset by the more than 800,000 barrels of oil that the Keystone XL pipeline is capable of delivering every day if the Biden administration had not stood. in the way, “Late. Tim Scott, RS.C., wrote in an op-ed to Fox News last month.
Biden also temporarily halted the sale of oil and gas leases on public land during his first days in office and has been put on trial by several states opposed to the break, but the Biden administration said they would restart them in last month.
Democratic members of the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Supervision and Investigations have meanwhile criticized oil companies for alleged price declines. Democrats and the Biden administration discourage banks from funding oil and gas projects and operations as part of their strategy to reduce fossil fuel use, and the Biden administration often promotes electric vehicles to replace internal combustion engines. At the same time, the Biden administration has courted people like Iran and Venezuela to compensate for the lost oil production by canceling the Keystone XL and to replace Russian oil, energy experts believe are political and wrong.
Ryan Sitton, an oil and gas engineer, founder of Pinnacle Reliability and former Texas energy regulator with experience in Venezuela, said the Biden administration and Democrats are “viewed with this anti-oil and gas narrative that is so disruptive to the U.S. economy” . ”
“If you’re going to win a Democratic primary, you have to be so hardcore anti-oil and gas that any hint of being thoughtful or being pro-American energy is almost untenable,” he told Fox Business in March.
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US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures on crude oil were down $ 94.79 a month on Monday.
An average gallon of gas in the United States was $ 4.11 on Monday, down from about $ 4.33 a month ago, according to AAA.
Reuters contributed to this report.