Turkey warns of 'disastrous consequences' from Russia sanctions
Washington’s decision to cut off oil exports from Russia will have disastrous consequences for the global energy market, Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Alparslan Bayraktar said on Tuesday during CERAWeek, an international energy conference in Houston, Texas.
“It will be very difficult to replace the Russian oil on the world market. Russia is the largest oil producer in the world,” stated the Turkish official. According to Bayraktar, with the global economy is recovering from the recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, an increase oil production is needed, the opposite of what the US is trying to do, at present.
Earlier on Tuesday, in a bid to “target the main artery of Russia’s economy,” US President Joe Biden signed an order banning oil and gas imports from the world’s largest nation in retaliation for Moscow’s military attack on Ukraine.
“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine,” Biden explained.
Staggering inflation and supply-chain disruptions have already made gas prices in the US skyrocket, approaching a record-high $5 per gallon. The newly introduced ban on Russian petroleum products, which amount to 8% of all US oil imports, will likely make the prices climb even higher.
Later the same day, when reporters asked Biden what Americans should do about the rising costs, he responded “what can you do about it? Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.”
Meanwhile, the European Union has no plans to cut off Russia’s oil exports. While the US does not import Russia’s natural gas, it amounts to one-third of the EU’s energy consumption.
“We’re moving forward with this ban understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us,” said the American leader.
The new round of sanctions against Russia were triggered by the Kremlin’s decision attack Ukraine on February 24. The measures target Russia’s financial and energy sectors. On top of these Western governmental actions, many international companies have announced their decision to leave the Russian market.