US, EU and UK target Russia oil and gas sector

US President Joe Biden has confirmed a complete US ban on Russian oil, gas and coal imports.

The UK is phasing out Russian oil and the EU is sharply reducing gas imports as countries harden their response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden said the move meant the "American people will deal another powerful blow" to Putin's leadership.

"We will not be part of subsidising Putin's war," Biden added.

Despite mounting fears of rising gas prices, the move has widespread bipartisan political support in the US.

Oil prices have been surging in anticipation of Biden's announcement - with the price of brent crude, the international benchmark, rising more than 5 percent to $130 a barrel.

The US move is more immediate than in Europe, which is far more reliant on Russian oil and gas.

The European Commission said it would reduce demand for Russian gas by two-thirds - the EU gets 40 percent of its gas from Russia.

The measures are meant to hurt Russia, with its economy heavily dependent on energy exports, such action could also send prices soaring.

Russia earlier warned it may close its main gas pipeline to Germany if the West banned Russian oil.The UK is to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022, Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced on Twitter.

He said businesses should "use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected".

On Monday, senior Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress announced a bipartisan agreement to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.

"Taking these actions will send a clear message to Putin that his war in unacceptable and the United States stands firmly with our Nato allies," they said. "We are committed to using the tools at our disposal to stop Russia's unconscionable and unjust war."

About 8 percent of US oil and refined product imports come from Russia, while Russia makes up about 6 percent of the UK's oil imports.

The EU is much more reliant on Russian energy, and said it would switch to alternative supplies and expand clean energy faster to fill the shortfall, with the aim of making Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels "well before 2030".