Russian crude supply to US has nearly doubled despite Washington’s claims, top Putin ally says
The United States has revealed its “hypocrisy” announcing a ban on Russian oil, while continuing to buy it in large quantities, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the Russian State Duma, has said.
Washington claimed it had moved to restrict all imports of Russian crude, some petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal in early March as part of sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.
“Russian oil will no longer be accepted in American ports,” The president of the United States, Joe Biden, promised at the time. But the statement was not backed by actions, Volodin noted in a Telegram post on Wednesday.
Data from the United States Department of Energy suggest that “Russia’s oil deliveries nearly doubled in March compared to February, from 2.325 to 4.218 million barrels, respectively.” wrote the speaker of parliament.
Despite the announced ban, “Our country has gone from ninth to sixth place in the ranking of the largest oil suppliers to the US.” he added.
The fact that, at the same time, Washington has been pressuring the EU to give up Russian oil, and has been successful in doing so, is “a clear sign of double standards”, Volodin said.
“Now let European politicians and bureaucrats explain to their citizens why they should tolerate ‘Biden price gouging,'” he wrote.
That comment referred to Joe Biden’s attempts to link high inflation, rising gasoline and food prices to the Russian offensive in Ukraine, calling them “Putin’s Price Hike”.
After weeks of debate, the EU agreed to a sixth round of sanctions against Moscow at the end of May, which, among other things, included a ban on Russian oil. The bloc decided to stop 75% of imports immediately and 90% by the end of the year. However, Hungary and several other countries received a waiver due to the inability of their economies to cope without Russian supplies.
Last week, Biden suggested the US might even try to buy some Russian oil after the European embargo presumably drives down its price.
“There is a lot of consideration being given to what can be done to buy the oil, but at a limited price.” the US president said when asked how he planned to deal with record gasoline prices. “There would be an overwhelming need for the Russians to sell it, and it would sell for a significantly lower price than what the market is generating now.” He explained.
However, Russia has cast doubt on Biden’s plan, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisting the country will not sell its oil for no profit. “Demand can fall in one place and rise in another. Supply chains will be reoriented as parties seek the best conditions for trade.” Peskov said.
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