The UK has revealed plans to stop the importation of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed the move, today, Tuesday (8 March).
Russian imports currently make up eight percent of the UK's oil demands, and so the slow 'phase out' is hoped to give the country enough time to find alternative options.
Taking to Twitter, Kwarteng addressed businesses, telling them that they should use the period 'to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected'.
He wrote: "The government will also work with companies through a new Taskforce on Oil to support them to make use of this period in finding alternative supplies."
Reflecting on how the UK 'is a significant producer of oil and oil products' as well as holding 'significant reserves', the business secretary noted how the 'vast majority of [the UK's] imports come from reliable partners such as the US, Netherlands and the Gulf'.
He continued: "We’ll work with them this year to secure further supplies."
Kwarteng concluded: "The market has already begun to ostracise Russian oil, with nearly 70% of it currently unable to find a buyer.
"Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas - 4% of our supply - I am exploring options to end this altogether."
The market has already begun to ostracise Russian oil, with nearly 70% of it currently unable to find a buyer.— Kwasi Kwarteng (@KwasiKwarteng) March 8, 2022
Finally, while the UK is not dependent on Russian natural gas - 4% of our supply - I am exploring options to end this altogether.
The UK has subsequently joined the US in placing such a ban on the Russian importation of oil.
Earlier today, an inside source anticipated the move being announced as part of Biden's address, which took place earlier today.
While he previously had reservations about including restrictions on oil within his list of 'severe sanctions' on the Kremlin, Biden declared: "We will not be part of subsidising Putin's war."
Alongside the sanctions imposed on five of Russia's biggest banks, which Biden anticipates will 'cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports' and prevent the country from being able to 'compete in a high-tech 21st century economy'.
The US' ban on oil, gas and coal imports is viewed as 'another powerful blow' to the Kremlin.
In another economic blow to the Putin regime following the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions. pic.twitter.com/E8MO6WRjPn— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) March 8, 2022
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reassured members of the public that UK businesses 'won't be affected' by the ban, Sky News reports.
He stated: "We can do it in a way that doesn't disrupt supply, that ensures we have substitute supplies on stream in an orderly way and in a timetable that won't affect UK business, won't affect UK manufacturing, road haulage or other parts of our industry but will punish the regime of Vladimir Putin."
Similarly to Biden, Johnson hopes that the decision will 'add [to] the pressure' which has already been mounting on Russia.
The prime minister concluded: "The noose is tightening."
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Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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