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Washington's purchases of Russian crude oil have almost doubled despite U.S. claims, Russian State Duma speaker points out.
The United States has revealed its “hypocrisy” by announcing a ban on Russian oil, and pushing EU allies to follow suit, while continuing to purchase it in large quantities, Vyacheslav Volodin, the speaker of Russia's State Duma has said.
Washington claimed it had moved to restrict all imports of Russian crude oil, some petroleum products, liquefied natural gas and coal in early March as part of sanctions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
However, data from the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that “oil deliveries from Russia almost doubled in March compared to February – from 2,325 to 4,218 million barrels, respectively,” the parliamentary speaker wrote.
President Biden had vowed at the time that “Russian oil will no longer be accepted at U.S. ports,” but the statement wasn’t backed up by action, Volodin pointed out in a Telegram post on Wednesday. Despite the announced ban, “Russia has risen from ninth to sixth place in the ranking of the largest oil suppliers to the U.S.,” Volodin added.
The fact that at the same time Washington had been pressuring the EU to give up on Russian oil, and succeeded in doing so, is “a clear sign of double standards,” Volodin said. “Now let the European politicians and bureaucrats explain it to their citizens, why they should tolerate ‘Biden's price hike’,” he wrote.
US eating back its sanctions on Russia but forcing other countries to ban all importation of Russian oil.. ..highest order if hypocrisy and double standards.. pic.twitter.com/VLRcrZAjFI
That comment was in reference to Joe Biden’s attempts to link high inflation, soaring gas and food prices with the Russian offensive in Ukraine, dubbing them as “Putin’s price hike.”
After weeks of debate, the EU agreed to a sixth round of sanctions against Moscow in late May, which among other things included a ban on Russian oil. The bloc decided to stop 75% of imports immediately, and 90% by the end of the year. However, Hungary and several other countries were given a waiver due to the inability of their economies to cope without Russian supplies.
Last week, Biden suggested that the U.S. could even try to buy some Russian oil after the European embargo presumably drives its price down. The U.S. President considered buying oil at capped prices to deal with the record gas prices his country faces, based on the assumption that the pressure of the sanctions imposed on Russia would force them to sell at lower prices.
However, Russia cast doubt on Biden’s plan, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisting that the country won’t be selling its oil without profit. “The demand may fall in one place and rise elsewhere. The supply chains will reorganize as parties seek best conditions for trade,” Peskov said.