“Contracts are contracts and they remain valid”.
White House communications chief Kate Bedingfield said in her press briefing about Vladimir Putin’s threats to charge for gas only in rubles.
“The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was clear and we agree with him”, he specified.
Meanwhile, here is Joe Biden’s shocking move in the West’s energy war against the Kremlin against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine. After having launched the embargo on Russian energy products, the commander in chief draws heavily on strategic oil reserves by announcing the release of one million barrels a day in the next six months for a total of 180 million barrels, for the purpose to fight the inflation and the expensive gasoline “caused by the invasion launched by Vladimir Putin”. “It is the largest release of oil reserves in history,” a move “unprecedented”, Biden said, explaining that the additional supplies “will alleviate the suffering of Americans” who “pay for a dictator’s choices” and will be needed. ”
“We will not let Putin exploit his energy resources”, he warned, adding that the tsar now seems “isolated” and that he would “fire or put some of his advisers under house arrest”. The president also flogged the US oil majors sitting on their record profits (“$ 80 billion last year”) without pumping more crude by taking advantage of the war-related price hike (“some like this increase”).
With his decision, Biden got ahead of the OPEC + meeting, which despite urges from the international community to significantly increase crude oil production was limited to a gradual and modest increase of only 432,000 barrels per day. But already the first rumors of Biden’s plan were enough to lower (by about 4%) the price of black gold in the main world markets, from New York to London, after the record of over 130 dollars a barrel at the beginning of March. .
The White House tenant had already resorted to strategic reserves, releasing 50 million barrels in November and another 30 in early March, but with little effect. Now he is making a bold move in an attempt to calm the rush in consumer prices, which in March continued to grow by 6.4% a year (0.6% monthly), and gasoline, which remains over $ 4 a gallon. For Biden, inflation is the greatest internal political problem because it risks endangering the mid-term elections in November, which the Democrats are already facing in difficulty. All polls point to the cost of living as the greatest concern for Americans. So the president did not hesitate to resort to the extreme remedy of strategic reserves,
The president also announced two other initiatives on the energy front: on the one hand he urged Congress to charge fines to oil companies that do not produce in the federal lands on which they are licensed, on the other he invoked a war law of the years’ 50 to ensure the production of crucial minerals (such as lithium, nickel, cobalt and graphite) needed for electric vehicle batteries.
The American leader also continues to push sanctions too: the latest round announced by the Treasury blacklists 13 people and 21 entities “as part of the repression against the network to circumvent sanctions on Russia (such as the company Serniya Engineering, ed) and technological companies, which play a decisive role in the Russian war machine “. Companies in the aerospace, marine and electronics sectors, including listed Micron, the largest Russian manufacturer and exporter of microchips, are targeted.