Russia has warned that it may cut natural gas supplies to Europe through its existing Nord Stream pipeline if the West pushes through banning Russian oil.
The U.S. said on Sunday that it was in “very active discussions” with Europe regarding a potential embargo on Russian oil as a means of punishing Moscow for its unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
Germany and the Netherlands rejected the proposal on Monday. The EU gets 30 percent of its oil from Russia and has no easy substitutes.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in an address on Russian state television that it is “impossible to quickly find a replacement for Russian oil on the European market”.
“We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the [existing] Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said, pointing to Germany’s move last month to shelf the project for a new gas pipeline connecting it to Russia.
“So far we are not taking such a decision,” Novak said. “But European politicians with their statements and accusations against Russia push us towards that.”
Novak added that an oil embargo would lead to “catastrophic consequences for the global market”.
“The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more,” Novak said.
European gas futures surged about 32 percent after Russia’s warning.
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