(Natural News) The European Union (EU) has recently decided to expand its economic sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine with an embargo on Russian oil. This decision is expected to make record-high global oil prices surge even higher.
On May 30, EU leaders agreed to embargo around 90 percent of Russian oil imports to the bloc by the end of the year.
The embargo bans EU member-states from purchasing crude oil from Russia delivered by sea in six months and refined petroleum products in eight months. Oil brought to the continent through pipelines will be temporarily exempt from the ban.
This option was a concession to landlocked EU countries like Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. They raised concerns about the impact of the oil ban on their economy and energy security.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, Austria, responded to the EU’s embargo by saying that Russia will not be affected because it can find other importers.
The embargo is part of a massive sanctions package that is intended to cripple Russia’s ability to finance its ongoing war in Ukraine.
The other sanctions include cutting off Sberbank – Russia’s largest bank – the Credit Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agricultural Bank from the international payments system SWIFT.
Other measures include banning the ability of EU citizens to provide consulting services to Russian companies and banning citizens from trading certain chemicals to Russia.
Dozens of other companies, military personnel and other prominent Russian personalities were also sanctioned. The military individuals were supposedly sanctioned for their reported responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine. The companies were sanctioned for providing equipment, supplies and services to the Russian Armed Forces.
Oil embargo already causing price surge
Debnil Chowdhury, vice president of Americas refining for S&P Global Commodity Insights, noted that the EU embargo did not immediately make crude oil prices jump by double digits because the ban will take up to the end of the year to fully implement. (Related: Widespread diesel shortages to affect everything in America and around the world.)
“This is going to take quite a bit of time for those sanctions to come into play,” said Chowdhury. “It’s not like when the U.S. announced [a ban on Russian oil in] 45 days. It’s more like six months, and the market had already factored in that this was going to happen. That’s why we didn’t see crude prices go up from $15 to $20 today. It wasn’t a surprise since this has been talked about for the past month.”
But that didn’t mean oil prices didn’t see an increase following the passage of the European embargo.
U.S. crude futures on May 30 traded as high as $119.43 per barrel, a price last seen in early March, before stabilizing to a still-high price of $114.67. Brent crude futures traded one percent higher than the previous day at $112.84 per barrel.
The EU relies on Russia for roughly 25 percent of its oil and 40 percent of its natural gas needs. Fully cutting off the bloc from accessing Russian oil would cause an energy crisis not seen in decades.
Full implementation of the ban is expected to exacerbate the continent’s concerns over an already-tight energy market. Energy prices have soared over the past year, contributing to a very heated inflationary environment for most of the continent. This embargo is also expected to affect the United States.
“A further ban on Russian crude delivered by shipments will tighten already strained supply amid rising demand due to onset of driving season in the United States,” wrote Avtar Sandu, senior manager of commodities for the trading platform Philip Nova.
Learn more about energy problems around the world at EnergySupply.news.
Watch this clip from RT as the news outlet reacts to the EU agreeing to the sixth round of anti-Russian sanctions, which includes the embargo on Russian oil.
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