On Monday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that oil prices in Western countries might go over $300 per barrel if governments follow through with the threats to cut energy supplies from Russia. Novak also said that the main Russia-Germany gas pipelines might also be closed.
Oil prices rose to their highest since 2008 on Monday after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US and European allies were contemplating a ban on Russian oil imports.
“It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market,” Novak said in a statement.
“The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel if not more.”
Novak explained that it would take Europe more than a year to replace the volume of oil it receives from Russia, and it would have to pay higher rates.
“European politicians need to honestly warn their citizens and consumers what to expect,” Novak said.
“If you want to reject energy supplies from Russia, go ahead. We are ready for it. We know where we could redirect the volumes to.”
Novak added that Russia would have the right to retaliate against the European Union despite fulfilling its obligations after Germany froze the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline certification last month.
Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s gas.
“In connection with … the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2, we have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline,” Novak said.
“So far we are not taking such a decision,” he said. “But European politicians with their statements and accusations against Russia push us towards that.”