Boris Johnson has urged the West to end its ‘reliance’ on Russian energy as he visits Saudi Arabia to push for increased oil and gas production. The prime minister is due to travel to the kingdom today for talks with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in hopes that Saudi Arabia can increase its oil and gas production to compensate for reduced dependence on of Russia.
In an article for the The telegraph of the day, Mr Johnson said Western leaders had made a ‘terrible mistake’ in letting President Vladimir Putin ‘get away with it’ by annexing Crimea in 2014 and subsequently becoming ‘more dependent’ on energy sources Russians. He said “addiction” to Russian fuel had “emboldened” Mr Putin to bomb civilians during his invasion of Ukraine, while taking advantage of soaring world oil and gas prices.
“We cannot continue like this. The world cannot be subjected to this continuous blackmail,” said Mr Johnson, whose administration has already announced its intention to phase out the import of Russian oil by the end of the year. end of the year.
Mr Johnson said Russia produces ‘virtually nothing else’ that the ‘rest of the world wants to buy’. He added: “If the world can end its reliance on Russian oil and gas, we can starve it of money, destroy its strategy and shrink it down to size.”
Offering a glimpse of what his UK Energy Security Strategy, due out this month, could contain, he argued there was a need to accelerate investment in renewables, including increasing the number of parks offshore wind farms in the UK and creating more solar power. Power. Mr Johnson also said there must be a ‘series of new big bets’ on nuclear power to ensure the UK’s energy supply was ‘no longer at the mercy of tyrants like Putin “.
However, the Prime Minister sought to be at the level of the public. He said stepping away from Russian power would be “painful” and that the financial aid offered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help pay rising bills this year cannot be granted “for long”.
Mr Johnson will fly to Riyadh in a bid to secure a path to Moscow’s diverging energy supplies – but the Prime Minister has been called on to cancel the trip on human rights grounds, particularly following recent reports of a mass execution of Saudi prisoners. Before his evening flight, he is to greet the leaders of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), an alliance of northern European nations.
Representatives from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway were due to dine with Mr Johnson during his retreat at Checkers on Monday evening. They were set for talks in London today.
Domestically, Britons came forward in such large numbers offering to take in Ukrainian refugees that the Interest Registration website crashed shortly after it opened. The Department for Levels, Housing and Communities confirmed that as of 9.30pm on Monday, more than 43,000 households had offered to house those fleeing the conflict under the UK Government’s sponsorship scheme.
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