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UK To Phase Out Russian Oil By The End Of 2022 Announces Kwasi Kwarteng

UK To Phase Out Russian Oil By The End Of 2022 Announces Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng announced the UK would stop importing Russian oil from the end of this year (Alamy)

3 min read

The UK will stop importing Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022 after the country’s invasion of Ukraine, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has announced.

He said the government will create a new taskforce to support firms to use the rest of the year to find alternatives and “ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected”.

Confirming the move in a Twitter thread, Kwarteng said phasing it out over the next nine months would “give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time” to replace Russian imports, which currently make up 8% of total UK demand.

He added that while Britain is “not dependent on Russian natural gas”, which makes up around 4% of our supply, he is also “exploring options to end this altogether”.

Shortly afterwards the US President Joe Biden made the same announcement to end American improrts of Russian oil too, following pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to cut off the imports to starve Vladimir Putin of revenue.

Biden said it would be a "powerful blow" to Russia, while Boris Johnson said the move will punish Moscow but will be introduced in a way that "won't affect" British firms or consumers.

"The UK is less exposed [than European allies] but clearly we do have diesel that comes from Russia and we can't move overnight,” the Prime Minister said.

"But we can certainly do it and we can do it in a way that doesn't disrupt supply, that ensures we have substitute supplies on stream in an orderly way and in a timetable that won't affect UK business, won't affect UK manufacturing, road haulage or other parts of our industry but will punish the regime of Vladimir Putin.”

He accepted that by phasing it out only by the end of 2022 the measure will not have an affect in the short terms while Ukraine remains under assault and cities are being shelled.

“But what it will do is add to the pressure we're already seeing on Russia and don't forget that the economic impact of the sanctions that the UK has led has been extreme,” Johnson told reporters.

"The Russian stock market hasn't opened for almost a week, the rouble has tanked and the noose is tightening."

Responding to the phasing out of Russian oil, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said: “The Conservatives are once again moving far too slowly to punish Putin for his illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“It’s not good enough to only ban Russian oil, there must be a ban on Russian gas too.”

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