‘Sanctions on Russian energy on the table’

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However, PM said that Russian oil and gas deliveries cannot be shut down overnight and such a transition will require time to find appropriate substitute supplies, reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday said that London and other Western governments are seriously considering sanctions on Russian energy exports in response to the ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

“Something that perhaps three or four weeks ago we would never have considered, is now very much on the table. We have to all consider how we can all move away … from dependence, reliance on Russian hydrocarbons,” Johnson told a press briefing alongside his Canadian and Dutch counterparts in response to a question regarding sanctions on Russian energy exports.

On February 24, Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine in response to calls from the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics to defend themselves against intensifying attacks by Ukrainian troops.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only and the civilian population is not in danger.

“NATO allies. Commonwealth nations. Firm friends. Working together to ensure Russia’s barbaric and illegal invasion of Ukraine ends in failure,” tweeted Johnson.

“The UK is working at pace with Netherlands & Canada and other partners to mobilise sustained support for Ukraine in the face of Putin’s invasion,” added the UK PM.

However, Johnson said that Russian oil and gas deliveries cannot be shut down overnight and such a transition will require time to find appropriate substitute supplies.

“You can’t simply close down the use of oil and gas overnight, even from Russia. That’s obviously not something that every country around the world can do,” said Johnson.

“Clearly, there is going to be a transitional period. We are going to have to look for supply, we are going have to look for substitute supplies from elsewhere,” he said.

“Today I am announcing a further 175 million pounds in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, bringing the total during the crisis to 400 million pounds. After 12 days it’s clear that Putin has made a miscalculation. He has underestimated Ukrainians and their heroic resistance,” said the British PM.

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to impose sanctions on 10 individuals linked to Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

“Today, Canada is announcing new sanctions on 10 individuals complicit in this unjustified invasion. This includes former and current senior government officials, oligarchs and supporters of the Russian leadership,” said Trudeau.

“Names of these individuals come from a list compiled by jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. These sanctions put increased pressure on Russia’s leadership including on Putin’s inner circle. Canada has sent about a billion dollars’ worth of financial assistance to Ukraine,” added the Canadian PM.

He said that Canada will continue to defend democracy and continue to make sure that Russian President Vladimir Putin is held accountable.

“The individuals include former and current senior Russian government officials, oligarchs and supporters of the Russian leadership,” said Trudeau.

The Canadian leader said he hoped the sanctions and “massive tariffs” imposed on Russian and Belarusian imports would punish “Putin where it hurts most in particular financial systems and sanctioning their central bank so far.”

Further, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte also agreed about the importance of moving in steps. “We have got to do this “step by step”, he said.

Rutte said that sanctions must not create “unmanageable risks” to European energy supplies.

“Over time, Europe must reduce its reliance on Russian energy,” he added.

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