Russia has warned Europe that it will pay a high price for the oil embargo announced in its latest sanctions against the country and pledged to speed up talks on increasing gas sales to China.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told the St. Petersburg Economic Forum that Europe would pay an additional $400 billion for higher energy prices and could face a shortage of oil products.
Russia is heavily dependent on its billions of dollars in energy exports for its financial stability, however, more than half of the EU’s imported gas comes from Russia, leaving the bloc exposed to any supply disruptions.
EU leaders have agreed to a 90 percent reduction in Russian oil imports by the end of the year, as well as other sanctions, including the removal of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, from SWIFT to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine.
A spokesman for the European Commission said that EU sanctions on imports of crude oil from Russia at sea would be imposed with a transition period of six months for crude oil and eight months for refined products.
Novak predicted that the plan to reduce oil imports from Russia could lead to a shortage of oil products on the European market. He also blamed “poor energy security planning” in the United States and Europe for record fuel prices and rising inflation.
Russia claimed that it can redirect its energy exports from Europe to countries such as India and China, to cover the losses caused by the sanctions imposed by the European market. However, Novak says Russia’s energy infrastructure, the largest of which is aimed at supplying its western neighbors, will need to be developed to ensure that supply routes and pipelines reach new markets.