Russia warns against oil import ban as little progress in talks with Ukraine

  • Oil price rises as US mulls import ban from Russia
  • Russia warns it could shut down gas pipeline to Germany
  • Talks on humanitarian corridors make little progress

LVIV/IRPIN, Ukraine, March 8 (Reuters) – Fears of an energy war between Russia and the West grew on Tuesday after the United States pushed its allies to ban imports of Russian oil as a punishment for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, where talks on humanitarian corridors made little progress.

Russia has warned it could halt the flow of gas through pipelines from Russia to Germany in response to Berlin’s decision last month to stop the opening of the controversial new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Russia supplies 40% of European gas.

“We have every right to take an equivalent decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline,” Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Monday.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Novak also warned that oil prices could more than double to $300 a barrel if the United States and its allies ban imports of Russian oil, a crucial source of revenue after the country was effectively frozen from financial markets. Westerners.

Bank of America analysts have said, however, that if most of Russia’s oil exports are halted, there could be a shortfall of 5 million barrels per day (bpd) or more, pushing prices up at $200. Read more

Oil prices hit 14-year highs on Tuesday, with Brent futures up $1.06, or 0.9%, at $124.27 a barrel at 0223 GMT, after reached $125.19. Read more

US President Joe Biden held a videoconference with the leaders of France, Germany and Britain on Monday as he asked for their support in banning imports of Russian oil.

But if necessary, the United States was ready to move forward without allies in Europe, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters. Many countries on the continent are heavily dependent on Russian energy. Read more

The invasion of Russia, the biggest attack on a European state since World War II, has created 1.7 million refugees, a series of sanctions against Moscow and fears of a wider conflict as the West provides military aid to Ukraine.

Ukrainian military intelligence said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces killed a Russian general near the besieged city of Kharkiv, the second senior Russian commander to die during the invasion.

Major General Vitaly Gerasimov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s 41st Army, was killed on Monday, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s General Intelligence Directorate said in a statement.

The Russian Defense Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment and Reuters could not verify the report.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” which it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy the military capabilities of its southern neighbor and capture what it sees as dangerous nationalists.

Japan tightened its sanctions on Tuesday, freezing the assets of 32 other Russian and Belarusian officials and executives of companies closely linked to the government. Read more

Estee Lauder Companies Inc (EL.N) joined a long list of companies leaving Russia, suspending all business operations and closing all of its stores in the country.

HUMANITARIAN CORRIDORS

Sieges and shelling continued as Kiev rejected possible humanitarian corridors to Russia and Belarus, but said limited progress had been made on agreeing logistics for the evacuation of civilians.

In the town of Irpin, on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv, fleeing residents ran with their young children in strollers or cradled babies in their arms, while others carried pet cages, plastic bags and suitcases.

“It’s like a disaster, the city is almost in ruins, and the neighborhood where I live, it’s like there are no houses that haven’t been bombed,” said a young woman. mother, holding a baby under a blanket, while her daughter stood beside her side.

“Yesterday was the hardest shelling, and the lights and sound are so scary, and the whole building is shaking.”

Along with corridors to Russia, Moscow offered to give residents of the Ukrainian cities of Sumy and Mariupol the choice of moving elsewhere in Ukraine on Tuesday, setting an early-hours deadline for Kiev to accept, Russian news agencies reported. Read more

More than 1.7 million Ukrainians have fled to central Europe since the conflict began on February 24, the UN refugee agency said on Monday. Read more

After third attempt to ease bloodshed at talks in Belarus, Ukrainian negotiator says while small progress was made on agreed logistics for civilian evacuation, things remained largely unchanged .

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that Moscow would halt operations if Ukraine stopped fighting, changed its constitution to declare neutrality and recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the independence of the regions held by Russian-backed separatists.

A Russian strike on a bread factory left 13 people dead in the town of Makariv, Kyiv region, Ukrainian officials said. Reuters could not verify the details. Russia denies targeting civilians.

In the beleaguered southern port city of Mariupol, hundreds of thousands of people remained trapped without food or water under regular shelling.

In the eastern city of Kharkiv, police said the death toll from Russian shelling stood at 143 since the start of the invasion. It was not possible to verify the toll.

Ukraine said on Monday its forces had regained control of the town of Chuhuiv in the northeast after heavy fighting and the strategic airport of Mykolaiv in the south. Neither could be immediately verified.

A senior US defense official said Putin has now deployed nearly 100% of the more than 150,000 forces he had pre-organized outside the country before the invasion to Ukraine.

Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Register

Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Costas Pitas and Stephen Coates; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien, Michael Perry and Raju Gopalakrishnan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More Stories
[Jeffrey D. Sachs] America, Human Rights, and Israel’s War on Palestine