The UK will ban all imports of Russian oil and oil products from the end of this year in response to the invasion of Ukraine, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has announced.
Kwarteng said the government would provide support to businesses in managing the transition, while also saying that he is “exploring options” in regards to banning all Russian gas imports too.
“This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8 per cent of UK demand,” Kwarteng said.
“Businesses should use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected.”
The US also today announced a ban on Russian oil and gas, while the European Commission outlined plans to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds this year and to phase them out by 2030.
Only around five per cent of the UK’s energy mix comes from Russian supplies, unlike other European countries who are highly dependent on the country’s gas exports.
Boris Johnson yesterday said he would soon bring forward a new energy strategy, which would see the UK rely more on its own supplies of energy.
It is widely expected this would come through an increase in production of North Sea oil and gas.
US President Joe Biden also announced a ban on all Russian oil and gas imports, after secretary of state Anthony Blinken revealed on Sunday that the US was weighing up sanctions on Russian energy.
“We remain united in our purpose to keep pressure mounting on Putin and his war machine,” Biden said.
“There will be a cost here in the US. I said defending freedom was going to cost.”