By Ron Bousso
-British Energy Minister Greg Hands said Tuesday that sanctions imposed on Russia are “really beginning to bite,” the same day Britain and the United States said they would cut imports of Russian oil and gas.
The United States, Britain and others have attempted to isolate Russia through a series of sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of crude and oil products at more than 7 million barrels a day – and efforts by governments and companies to restrict use of Russian oil has caused prices to surge.
Earlier, the United Kingdom said it would phase out purchases of Russian oil and gas, while the United States announced an outright ban.
“The important thing is we’re all talking, we’re all coordinating. We’re all piling on the pressure, and that is the right way to deal with it,” Hands told the CERAWeek conference in Houston.
“The measures that have been taken are really beginning to bite,” he said.
Britain is not a significant importer of Russian crude. It imported about 300 billion cubic feet of Russian natural gas in 2020, or about 4% of Russian natural gas exports that year, according to U.S. Energy Department figures.
The British sanctions apply only to oil, but Hands said that “we’ll have to wait and see” whether they will be extended to natural gas.
Hands, said the country was “ready to work internationally on reducing our dependence on Russian gas.” He said the country is “in a good position” in terms of its natural gas supply, but vulnerable to higher prices.