US, European Partners Mull Ban On Russian Oil Imports


(RFE/RL) — The United States and its European partners are considering banning Russian oil imports, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on March 6.

Washington is “in very active discussions with our European partners about banning the import of Russian oil to our countries, while of course, at the same time, maintaining a steady global supply of oil.”

Blinken, speaking in an interview on U.S. broadcaster NBC, did not provide any details on what the new measures would be but did not rule out any action.

Blinken’s comments came as gasoline prices in the United States have surged to their highest levels since 2008.

The national average for a gallon of gas was just over $4 on March 6, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Consumers are paying 40 cents more than a week ago, and 57 cents more than a month ago, AAA said.

On average, the United States imported more than 20 million barrels of crude and refined products a month from Russia last year. That is about 8 percent of U.S. liquid fuel imports, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

After Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States slapped sanctions on exports of technologies to Russia’s refineries and the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, which has effectively been suspended by Germany.

So far, however, it has stopped short of targeting Russia’s oil and gas exports as the Biden administration weighs up the impacts on global oil markets and U.S. energy prices.

Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom still “carries out the supply of Russian gas for transit through the territory of Ukraine in the regular scale and according to the requirements of European consumers,” according to Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov, quoted by Interfax.


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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