Energy & Environment

Russian oil company calls for peace in Ukraine in break with Putin

AP Photo/ Alexander Zemlianichenko

In a break with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s second-largest oil company called for the country’s invasion in Ukraine to end, joining a growing list of organizations, in and outside of Russia, urging for peace.

“The Board of Directors of LUKOIL expresses herewith its deepest concerns about the tragic events in Ukraine. Calling for the soonest termination of the armed conflict, we express our sincere empathy for all victims, who are affected by this tragedy,” Lukoil’s board of directors said in a statement on Thursday

“We strongly support a lasting ceasefire and a settlement of problems through serious negotiations and diplomacy,” the statement continued.

The board of directors added that the company would try to continue its operations in all countries and regions where it currently has a presence.

The development comes, however, as the White House and some lawmakers are at odds over whether to block or limit Russian oil imports.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Thursday that the White House was not interested in targeting Russian oil imports, saying doing so could make gas prices higher for Americans and reduce the world’s energy supply. 

“We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy and that would raise prices at the gas pump for the American people around the world because it would reduce the supply available,” Psaki said. “And it’s as simple as less supply raises prices, and that is certainly a big factor for the president at this moment. It also has the potential to pad the pockets of President Putin, which is exactly what we are not trying to do.” 

But some Democrats and Republicans are saying they are in favor of a ban on oil and energy imports. 

“I’m all for that — ban it,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Thursday. “Ban the oil coming from Russia.”

Meanwhile, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced legislation on Thursday that would ban Russian energy imports.

Tags gas Jen Psaki Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Lukoil Nancy Pelosi oil Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Ukraine Vladimir Putin

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