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Putin 'earns $1 billion a day from oil alone' as Ukraine lobbies without success for an embargo

Business Insider US
Activists in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22, 2022, at a protest calling for a ban on buying fossil fuels from Russia.
Thierry Monasse/Getty Images
  • Oleg Ustenko, a Ukrainian official, again made the case for an embargo on Russian oil. 
  • "Putin earns $1 billion a day from oil," he said, noting that EU countries stepped up purchases.
  • European countries rely on Russian energy, and exempted the sector from sanctions.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Oleg Ustenko, an economic advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said that Russia continues to earn $1 billion a day from oil exports, as he urged countries to block Russia's cashflow over the invasion of Ukraine.

Calls by Ustenko, Zelenskyy, as well as other Ukrainian officials and everyday victims of the war have so far gone unheeded.

In an interview with South Korean outlet MoneyS, that was posted on the website of the Ukrainian presidential office, Ustenko made a new case for blocking Russian oil sales. 

"Putin earns $ 1 billion a day from oil alone. European countries have even increased imports of Russian oil," he said.

"Some European nations are concerned that inflation could happen. However, the market will undergo a rapid correction, and prices will return to acceptable levels," Ustenko predicted.

He also said that other countries could increase production to make up for an embargo on Russia. However, OPEC, the bloc of oil-producing nation, has said that it does not plan to make any such moves.

The US has banned Russian oil imports. But it imported relatively little in the first place. Most Western nations, especially those in the EU, rely heavily on Russian fuel, mostly in the form of natural gas.

These nations exempted the energy sector from an array of otherwise punishing measures meant to isolate and damage to Russian economy.

The billion-dollar-a-day figure has been corroborated elsewhere.

The EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, last week said "a billion [euros] is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he supplies us." A Euro was worth around $1.09 on Monday morning.

The bloc is seeking to rapidly reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas, but has given a timeline of years for the to take lace.

On Saturday Andrey Illarionov, a former economic advisor to Putin, told the BBC that an effective oil and gas embargo on Russia could force the end of Russia's war in Ukraine in 8 weeks by depriving Russia of funds.

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