US and UK ban Russian oil and gas imports

President Joe Biden has banned imports of Russian oil and gas into the US as Washington steps up economic sanctions on Moscow over the invasion of Ukraine in an attempt to deprive it of revenue. The move was matched by a UK phase-out of Russian oil imports, but the EU did not follow suit and instead unveiled a plan to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds within a year. The ban has come after days of debate within the Biden administration and between the US and western allies about the merits of banning Russian energy to punish President Vladimir Putin for the attack on Ukraine, as well as the risk that it could trigger a new shock to global energy markets. Russia, the world’s largest exporter of crude and petroleum products, had shipped almost 8mn barrels a day to global markets at the end of last year, according to the International Energy Agency. About 60 per cent of Russia’s oil exports go to Europe, including around 2 per cent to the UK, while 8 per cent go to the US. China accounts for about 20 per cent.