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Biden Admin Warned Ukraine Against Attacking Russian Oil Refineries, Citing Possible Price Spike: REPORT

Photo by Aleksandr Popov / Unsplash

By Jake Smith, The Daily Caller News Foundation | March 22, 2024

The Biden administration told Ukraine to stop attacking Russia’s energy network, citing concerns it may cause a global spike in oil prices, The Financial Times reported on Friday.

Ukraine has launched a series of attacks against Russian oil refineries, depots and storage units since the war between the countries began in February 2022. The Biden administration has been irked by Ukraine’s strikes on Russian refineries because it threatens to upset the global oil economy, and has warned Kyiv against conducting further attacks on these targets, three individuals with knowledge on the matter told the FT.

The Biden administration sent these warnings to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which is Kyiv’s state security network, and the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine (GUR), both of which have ramped up attacks on Russian targets by land and sea since the war began, the individuals told the FT.

The Biden administration is concerned over Ukraine’s attacks on Russian refineries because Russia has one of the largest oil industries in the world, despite crippling sanctions from the U.S. and international partners, according to the FT. There is also concern that if Ukraine continues attacks against these targets, Moscow will retaliate and hit energy networks that Western nations depend on, including the CPC oil pipeline from Kazakhstan to Russia that are used by Chevron and ExxonMobil.

The threat of heightened oil prices because of Ukraine’s attacks against Russia’s energy sector comes alongside U.S. President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign this year.

“Nothing terrifies a sitting American president more than a surge in pump prices during an election year,” Bob McNally, former White House energy adviser and president of Rapidan Energy, told the FT.

Publicly, the Biden administration has been supportive of Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia. Over $73 billion in U.S. aid has been delivered to Ukraine since the war began, and the Biden administration is urging Congress to pass an additional $60 billion aid package.

Privately, the Biden administration has looked at options for negotiations to end the war between Ukraine and Russia, according to Politico. Ukraine’s counteroffensive against Russia has largely stalled out amid a shortage of manpower and munitions, and Moscow’s military-industrial complex is at full capacity.

The White House National Security Council, CIA, SBU and GUR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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