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Global oil prices could reach more than $300 per barrel if the US and European allies enact import bans on Russia, Reuters quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as saying on state television.

In case the governments cut energy supplies from Russia, in the wake of the Ukraine invasion, Moscow could also consider closing the main Russia-Germany gas pipeline, according to the senior minister.

Russia’s warning comes as oil prices reached the highest levels since 2008, after reports emerged that the US and its European allies are considering oil import bans on Russia.

Novak was cited as saying on state television: “It is absolutely clear that a rejection of Russian oil would lead to catastrophic consequences for the global market.

“The surge in prices would be unpredictable. It would be $300 per barrel, if not more.”

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By GlobalData

Novak said that Europe would require more than one year to replace the volume of Russian oil it receives. This would result in Western countries paying significantly higher prices.

Novak added: “In connection with unfounded accusations against Russia regarding the energy crisis in Europe, and the imposition of a ban on Nord Stream 2, we have every right to take a matching decision and impose an embargo on gas pumping through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline.”

The European Union (EU) relies on Russia for 40% of its natural gas.

In a separate development, German utility Uniper said that it will write down its financial exposure to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, amid Ukraine crisis.

The firm will fully impair its $1.07bn (€987m) loan to the Nord Stream 2 project. It also announced the sale process for its majority owned Russian subsidiary, PAO Unipro.