U.S. sanctions on Russia not likely to disrupt energy markets

Actions the Biden administration took on Tuesday to punish Russia’s economy over its aggression in Ukraine are not intended to hit global energy markets, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

“Sanctions on Russia are not designed to disrupt the flow of energy in the global energy market,” said the official, who spoke to reporters on the condition of anonymity.

The official added that nothing that is happening on the ground in Ukraine now, or in coming days, is expected to affect the flow of oil to global markets.

U.S. officials have been working together with oil producing nations from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and with global oil consuming countries “in a coordinated fashion and will be prepared to respond if need be at some time in the future,” to calm energy markets, said the official.

Oil prices edged close to $100 a barrel after Moscow ordered troops into two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.

Amos Hochstein, President Joe Biden’s special envoy on global energy security, and Brett McGurk, the coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, held discussions last week with Saudi Arabia officials about energy market pressures stemming from Russian aggression in Ukraine.

“We wanted to make sure that we are coordinating… we share a mutual interest in ensuring that markets are balanced and stable and that there is enough supply,” the official said about U.S. talks on energy with Saudi officials. “We did not discuss increasing (oil) production.”

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