Secretary of State Blinken: US is “looking” at banning Russian oil and gas, but need permission from EU


Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the US is "looking" at banning Russian oil and gas, but says the US is unlikely to do so without permission from European countries.

“When it comes to oil, Russian oil, I was on the phone yesterday with president and other members of the Cabinet on exactly the subject. And we are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil, while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets," Blinken told CNN’s "State of the Union."

"That's a very active discussion as we speak," he said further

"We've seen very credible reports of deliberate attacks on civilians, which would constitute a war crime. We've seen very credible reports about the use of certain weapons," he added .

"And what we're doing right now is documenting all this, putting it all together, looking at it and making sure that as people and the appropriate organizations and institutions investigate whether war crimes have been or are being committed, that we can support whatever they're doing. So right now, we're looking at these reports. They're very credible and we're documents everything," the secretary summed up.

Market implications

Last week, the Brent benchmark rose 21% to close at $118.11 a barrel and US crude gained 26% to close at $115.68, levels not seen 2013 and 2008, respectively, as Russia struggled to sell oil amid fresh sanctions. Oil prices could surge further this week due to delays to the conclusion of Iranian nuclear talks as well.

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