8th March 2022, London – Announcements made by the EU, UK and US today on targeting the Russian oil and gas sector, whilst welcome steps, do not go far enough to meet the scale needed to challenge both the revenue and legitimacy Putin’s Russia is afforded through the fossil fuel industry.

Three separate announcements today saw:

  • The European Commission said the EU will reduce demand for Russian gas by two thirds before the end of the year
  • The UK saying they will phase out imports of Russian oil over the course of the year
  • The US announce banning of Russian Gas, coal and oil imports to the US

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

“As Ukrainians have consistently said, to be effective sanctions against Russia must target it’s huge revenues from oil and gas. Today’s announcements from the EU, UK and US are therefore steps in the right direction but nowhere near match the scale of the challenge. This is not a moment for half-measures or tentative footsteps. Russia has launched a full-scale, indiscriminate, and illegal war and the immediate task is to stop the violence and killings. The single best way to do that is to cut off Putin’s war chest by targeting the country’s fossil fuel industry as a whole.”

“We want to see Europe, including the UK, 100 per cent cut off all Russian fossil fuels. These changes should be as immediate as Putin’s murderous policies, rather than over the course of one year. Likewise, whilst positive that the US has banned imports they should go further and introduce full sanctions against the whole Russian fossil fuel industry – as they have supported with other parts of the Russian economy. This would ensure no fossil fuel company anywhere in the world can help finance Putin’s war.”

"The EU, US and UK must all use this as the moment to vastly accelerate the deployment of renewables and supporting citizens to ensure they are not plunged further into energy poverty. It must not be a cover for new fossil fuel projects elsewhere, more fossil fuels cannot be solution to this crisis"

Earlier today, Global Witness called on the US, EU and UK to place sanctions on Russia’s fossil fuel industry, to ensure “not a single cent, pound or dime makes it into the Russian war chest through oil, gas and coal.” In response Ukraine’s Foreign Minister urged all states to “stop financing Putin’s war machine and barbaric atrocities in Ukraine.”