Oil prices tumble as US prepares to release more from reserves
31 March 2022 | 2:52 pm
The price of oil tumbled in early trading on Thursday, after reports that the United States was preparing to release more oil from its strategic reserves in a bid to bring down the cost for consumers. President Joe Biden is due to make an announcement later this Thursday. It would be the second time this month that the US has released oil from its stockpile. Also today, we look at how French consumers are preparing for a potential shortage of sunflower oil due to the war in Ukraine.
The US, EU and their allies have been announcing measures designed to isolate and weaken the Russian economy. Since 2014, Vladimir Putin has been taking pre-emptive steps to protect the economy from future sanctions. But Brian O'Toole, a former US Treasury official and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, says that in the face of Western sanctions, "Fortress Russia is gone."
Solidarity for Ukraine was front and centre during US President Joe Biden's State of the Union address this week. Biden reiterated that American troops will not fight in Ukraine, but warned that NATO territory would be defended. He also announced that US airspace would be closed to Russian planes and warned oligarchs that their assets would be seized. To find out more about the effectiveness of such sanctions, we speak to Daniel Tannebaum, who's Global Head of Sanctions at Oliver Wyman and a former compliance officer with the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the US Treasury Department.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has praised Poland for its "vital work" in responding to a migration crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said Moldova "deserves the world's gratitude" for welcoming Ukrainians. He also vowed support for the country's sovereignty due to fears that it could be Russia's next target.
Crude oil futures touched 13-year highs on Monday as the US and UK signalled a willingness to include the previously untouched Russian energy sector in sanctions. Meanwhile, more US firms and Chinese social media giant TikTok are suspending Russian operations, and new UK laws to sanction Russian oligarchs could mean big changes for London's luxury real estate market.
The US will stop importing oil and natural gas from Russia, US President Joe Biden has said as the West escalates sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine invasion.
In an interview with FRANCE 24 on Monday, former US national security adviser and retired lieutenant general Herbert Raymond McMaster said that Ukraine can win the war with Russia, remarking that President Vladimir Putin had already lost the conflict in a sense by not winning outright.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the Polish minister of defense that the US does not support the transfer of MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian air force "at this time," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said, either by Poland transferring them to Ukraine with the US backfilling Poland's fleet or by Poland transferring the MiG-29s to the US to then give to Ukraine.
Here are a few reasons to pick up a copy of The Guardian on Tuesday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the United States Congress on Wednesday, thanking its members for the support the US has offered his country and asking for more.
Volodymyr Zelensky has addressed the US Congress. Ukraine's president made a plea for more help to defend his country against Vladimir Putin's forces. On day 21 of the Russian invasion, with shelling and air strikes continuing, Zelensky appealed to the United States to do more. But will he get what he wants?
The United States Federal Reserve has raised interest rates for the first time since 2018, as it tries to cool inflation, which is running at the highest level in 40 years. The Chair of the central bank, Jerome Powell, said the implications of the Russian invasion were "highly uncertain", pointing to the risk of disruption to supply chains. Also today, we look at details of the French government's plan to ease the economic impact of the war in Ukraine.
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