British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said letting Russian President Vladimir Putin “get away” with annexing Crimea was a “terrible mistake” that the West made.
“It is vital, if we’re going to stand up to Putin’s bullying, we’re going to avoid being blackmailed by Putin in the way that so many Western countries sadly have been, we’ve got to get ourselves off Russian hydrocarbons,” he told broadcasters as he hosted a summit of Nordic and Baltic leaders to discuss European defence and security.
“The spike in oil and gas, which is being felt by British consumers, by everybody who has a central heating system, everybody in this country is seeing the effects of that spike in prices. We have to deal with that in any way that we can,” said Johnson.
Johnson is expected to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman this week, hoping he can persuade him to boost the Gulf state’s oil production to offset the impact of economic sanctions against the Kremlin on global energy prices.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Tuesday that oil demand in 2022 faced challenges from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising inflation as crude prices soar.
Europe must protect its own security by helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy told a meeting of Joint Expeditionary Force leaders in London via video link on Tuesday, urging them to send more weapons.