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UK to ban Russian oil imports

LONDON — The U.K. will ban the import of Russian oil in protest against the invasion of Ukraine, with Washington expected to do the same.

An announcement is expected to be made this afternoon, according to three Whitehall officials who spoke to POLITICO.

However, it looks increasingly unlikely that the EU will announce a ban of its own, because of fears about runaway inflation and retaliation from the Russians.

There will be a months-long lead-in time on the ban to allow the global market to adjust and to stop people panic-buying petrol, the British officials said. Ministers will stress that the public will not need to stock up on fuel because Russian oil is a minimal part of the British energy mix.

The announcement is in effect a political protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a bid to pile pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

There will not be a ban on Russian gas at the same time, but officials confirmed the issue was still under discussion by the U.K. government.

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