London [UK], March 9 (ANI): The UK will phase out imports of Russian oil in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine by the end of the year, the UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed on Tuesday.
The UK energy department said that the phasing out of imports will not be immediate and will allow enough time to adjust supply chains, supporting industry and consumers. It said Boris Johnson's government will work with companies through a new Taskforce on Oil to support them to make use of this period in finding alternative supplies.
A UK government release said the country is working closely with the US, the EU and other partners to end its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, recognising the different circumstances and transition timelines.
The import of Russian oil makes up 44 per cent of Russian exports and 17 per cent of federal government revenue through taxation - this move steps up the international pressure on Russia's economy, the release said.
"In a competitive global market for oil and petroleum products, demand can be met by alternative suppliers. We will work closely with international partners to ensure alternative supplies of fuel products," the UK energy department said.
Russian imports account for 8% of total UK oil demand, but the UK is also a significant producer of both crude oil and petroleum products, in addition to imports from a diverse range of reliable suppliers beyond Russia including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and US.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions."
"Working with industry, we are confident that this can be achieved over the course of the year, providing enough time for companies to adjust and ensuring consumers are protected," he added.
UK Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "Unprovoked military aggression will not pay and we will continue to support the brave people of Ukraine as they stand up to tyranny, building on our existing sanctions that are already crippling Putin's war machine."
According to the UK energy department, this significant move will increase the growing pressure on Russia's economy by choking off a valuable source of income and hitting its ability to impose further misery on the Ukrainian people. (ANI)