The Kremlin has threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe and warned that the price of oil could rocket to $300 a barrel if the western allies step up their economic war against Russia by banning energy imports.
As European leaders prepare to meet at Versailles on Thursday to discuss weaning the continent off Russian gas and oil, Moscow warned that any such move could be a catastrophe for the global market.
"A rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market," said Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak, saying the price could more than double to over $300 per barrel.
Noting that Germany last month froze the certification of Nord Stream 2 that was due to pipe gas from Russia to Germany, he said Russia could cut off the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline – one of the main sources of natural gas to Europe.
"We have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline," said Novak.
A western ban on Russian oil imports may more than double the price to US$300 a barrel and prompt the closure of the main gas pipeline to Germany, Moscow warned on Monday.
In response, EU leaders are expected to say the block will agree "to phase out our dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal imports".