Commentary | Center for American Security

The European Union Announces Plan for Phased Ban of Russian Oil and Refined Products—America Must Meet the Moment

The European Union unveiled plans to implement a phased ban on Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.” The move comes as Russia’s unprovoked invasion and humanitarian violations continue in Ukraine, including the latest allegations of war crimes during Russia’s siege of Mariupol.

Presently, 13 European nations are dependent upon Russia for more than 20 percent of their crude oil imports, and seven of those nations are more than 40 percent dependent. Overall, the EU is approximately 30 percent dependent on Russian crude oil imports. The announcement of a ban on Russian imports will require a significant shift in supplies for European nations and has already sent shock waves throughout crude oil markets. Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures jumped approximately four percent following the announcement. According to the European Commission, European trade with Russia in 2021 amounted to 296 million dollars per day, and since Russia’s invasion, the EU has paid just more than 50 billion dollars to Russia for energy. In 2021, Russia relied on oil and natural gas exports for 45 percent of its federal budget.

In response to this bold first step, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Chair of AFPI’s Center for Energy Independence, and Lt. General (Ret.) Keith Kellogg, Co-Chair of AFPI’s Center for American Security, released the following statement.

“For too long, Europe has overlooked its dangerous reliance on Russian energy, and despite years of diplomatic overtures on the part of three U.S. presidential administrations, Europe must now make the painful choice to end its energy dependence on Russia. However, the United States should not allow Europe to stand alone. It is imperative that we leverage our energy abundance to assist our European allies and partners in severing their dependencies on Russia. Through our enduring transatlantic energy relationship, American producers and exporters will underpin the future of European energy security and ensure Russia’s war chest is rapidly depleted. This is no small undertaking for European nations, and we recognize and applaud this as a positive first step in holding Russia accountable. We also commend the nations of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia for leading the efforts of European energy diversification and security. The Biden Administration needs to change a host of policies to fully support American energy development, American workers, and our European allies.”

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