Russia threatens Europe’s natural gas
A top Russian official on Monday threatened to withhold the natural gas it supplies to Europe in response to Western actions seeking to punish the country over its invasion of Ukraine.
News outlets quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as threatening the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which sends natural gas to the continent.
“We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said, referring to Germany’s decision to block the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from supplying more gas.
Russia provides about 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas. While such a move would likely cause prices to spike in Europe, it could also hurt the Russian economy.
Novak also warned against banning Russian oil imports, claiming that it could cause a significant surge in the market.
“It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Novak said. “The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more.”
On Tuesday, news broke that the U.S. was expected to announce a ban on Russia oil imports. However, that doesn’t mean that Europe, which is more reliant than the U.S. on Russian oil, will take a similar step.
Nevertheless, many buyers have already been resisting the purchase of Russian oil in light of the country’s invasion.