Economist comment: EU bans Russian oil imports

“The banning of Russian oil imports by the European Union will likely put further pressure on prices and the world’s economy. As the world’s largest oil exporter, and a country that’s rich in natural gases, there’s no doubting it’s sway in the global marketplace.

“Just last year, Russia accounted for 30% of the EU’s crude oil imports and 15% of oil products, so this latest sanctions package will hit a number of sectors, directly or indirectly – from transportation and hospitality, right through to healthcare. What’s more, European countries will have to foot the bill for finding alternative suppliers: this move could bring the world a step closer to cutting off Russian gas supplies too which would be even trickier to substitute because of the existing infrastructure, geographical proximity and transportation ease already in place.

“Stress tests on supply chains need to take place sooner rather than later amongst British businesses. Once alternative suppliers have been identified, subsequent price increases will need to be reviewed to uncover how they will impact the bottom line, and if they can be sustained. As the situation in Ukraine develops, it’s likely a large number trading contracts with Russia will come to a halt, and businesses need to not only monitor the situation, but also devise a continuity plan now to prepare.”

Tommaso Aquilante, UK Lead Economist at Dun & Bradstreet