It is undeniable at this point that Russian energy supplies are very crucial to the west, especially the European nations, and amid mounting tension in pressuring Russia, the U.S. might be the only one to move on with the banning of Russian oil and gas.
Ukraine has been left physically to fight alone against Russia with the U.S. and other European nations and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on a sideline, acting like cornermen in teaching the boxer, Ukraine, how to fight with an extra helping hand on supplying equipment and firearms.
The only thing that these cornermen can do is slapping sanctions after sanctions on Russia, but not too hard in fear of a hit back.
Ukraine has urged western countries to ban imports of Russian energy, notably oil and gas. The U.S., then, asked its European allies to participate in this ban. However, Washington might be left alone to do so this time.
Unlike the U.S. that relies far less on Russian crude and products, Germany is the biggest buyer of Russian crude oil and its Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that supply of energy cannot be secured in any other way at this time, meaning that it will continue to buy energy from Russia for a while.
“Europe has deliberately exempted energy supplies from Russia from sanctions,” said Scholz. “At the moment, Europe’s supply of energy for heat generation, mobility, power supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way. It is therefore of essential importance for the provision of public services and the daily lives of our citizens,” he added.
Meanwhile, other European countries are quiet about the ban after initially opened to the idea when it was first raised.
Crude oil prices also recently reached its highest point since 2008, and supply shortage could drive the price higher and lead to higher inflation rate.
However, a loss of Russian energy could have a big impact on global supply one way or another, and the U.S. is reportedly in talks with Venezuela, a country that it initially banned, for energy supplies.
A White House official also did not deny the idea of flying to Saudi Arabia to seek higher output.
“This is premature speculation and no trip is planned,” a White House official said.
On the other hand, a top Russian official said in a statement warning that a ban on Russian oil imports by western countries could result in oil prices more than doubling to about $300 per barrel and prompt the closure of the main gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.
In the meantime, Ukraine is still physically fighting alone.