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UK to phase out Russian oil imports by end of 2022

british business and energy secretary kwasi kwarteng walks outside downing street, in london
British Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng

Britain will phase out Russian imports of oil and oil products by the end of 2022, business minister Kwasi Kwarteng said on Tuesday, calling on businesses to use the transition period to ensure a smooth transition.

“This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand,” Kwarteng said on Twitter.

On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government would set out a new energy supply strategy as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent rally in energy prices accelerated the need for new energy sources and greater self-reliance.

Separately, the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, announced a ban on Russian oil imports.

Ahead of the formal announcement of the moves by Britain and the United States, oil prices rose with Brent surging past $132 a barrel in anticipation of reduced supply.

Also on Tuesday, the European Commission published plans to cut the EU’s dependency on Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its reliance on Russian supplies of the fuel “well before 2030”.

Kwarteng said he was exploring options to end British imports of Russian gas which accounts for about 4% of supply in the country.

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