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Beijing Blasts US Ban on Russian Energy, Says Wielding ‘Sanctions’ Stick Won’t Lead to Peace

© East News / Wei ta/Imaginechina/NYWWPChinese inspectors patrol past oil tanks at the Dagang commercial oil reserve base
Chinese inspectors patrol past oil tanks at the Dagang commercial oil reserve base - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2022
US President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday instituting a near total ban on Russian energy supplies, vowing that the prohibition of Russia-sourced oil and gas would deal “another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.” Biden admitted that the decision would incur “costs” on Americans, but suggested that “defending freedom has a cost.”
Beijing “strongly” condemns Washington’s decision to unilaterally halt the import of Russian energy, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has said.
“China strongly opposes unilateral sanctions which have no basis in international law. Wielding the stick of sanctions at every turn will never bring peace and security, but cause serious difficulties to the economies and livelihoods of the countries concerned,” Zhao said, speaking at a briefing in Beijing Wednesday, when asked to comment on Washington’s decision to ban Russian energy imports.
“China and Russia have always maintained good cooperation in the energy sector and will continue to carry out normal trade cooperation, including oil and gas trade, based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit,” the spokesman added.
President Biden slapped a near total ban on Russian energy supplies on Tuesday, including oil and gas, and said Washington would be “working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well.”
The Department of Energy said Friday it's considering buying 5 million barrels of oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a move that could signal a government plan to bolster an industry suffering from collapsing prices.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.03.2022
Biden Announces Ban on Russian Oil Imports
Russia accounts for about 20 percent of global natural gas production, and about 10 percent of the world’s oil supplies.
Despite its status as the world’s largest producer of oil, the United States depended on Russian oil for about 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of its domestic consumption through 2021, or just a fraction of its nearly 20 million bpd oil use. The US Department of Energy expects to partially offset the loss of Russian oil in its energy balance by increasing domestic crude production by 60,000 bpd by the end of 2022 to 12.03 million bpd total.
Part of the shortfall is also expected to be replaced via imports from one or more energy giants, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran or Venezuela. However, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Saudi and Emirati leaders had declined repeated requests to speak with President Biden in recent weeks over US policy in the Gulf.
Khaled al Otaiby, an official of the Saudi oil company Aramco watches progress at a rig at the al-Howta oil field. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2022
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At the same time, US lawmakers have expressed weariness over the prospects of replacing Russian oil by buying crude from Iran and Venezuela. Both nations have been heavily sanctioned by Washington, and Caracas and Tehran have repeatedly accused the United States of seeking to violently overthrow their governments. On Tuesday, a group of GOP lawmakers introduced the so-called ‘No Oil From Terrorists Act’ to try to stop the Biden administration from buying Iranian oil. Separately Top Republican House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere subcommittee member Mark Green called for the ban instituted on Russian oil to be extended to Iranian and Venezuelan supplies as well.
Energy prices have jumped dramatically in recent days as energy markets reel from the prospect of the partial loss of part of Russia’s massive oil and gas output, with the American Automobile Association reporting Tuesday that US gasoline prices had reached a new national record Tuesday of $4.17 a gallon. In Europe, spot prices for natural gas have thrashed wildly, briefly soaring to an unprecedented record of $3,900 per thousand cubic meters in Monday trading before trending downward.
A helicopter flies over a large Venezuelan flag during a military parade to celebrate the 210th anniversary of Venezuela's independence in Caracas, Venezuela, July 5, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.03.2022
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