Boris urges West to end 'addiction' to Russian energy ahead of trip to Saudi Arabia

15 March 2022, 06:20

Boris Johnson has said the West must stop relying on Russia for energy.
Boris Johnson has said the West must stop relying on Russia for energy. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Boris Johnson has urged the West to end its "addiction" to Russian energy ahead of his trip to Saudi Arabia, where he will push for increased oil and gas production.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Prime Minister also admitted that a "terrible mistake" had been made when Mr Putin was allowed to "get away with" annexing Crimea in 2014, with Western leaders becoming "more dependent" on Russian power sources.

Mr Johnson said the "addiction" on their fuel had "emboldened" Mr Putin to bomb civilians during his invasion of Ukraine, while at the same time profiting from soaring global oil and gas prices.

He added that there needed to be a "series of big new bets" on alternatives such as nuclear power to make sure the UK's energy supply was "no longer at the mercy of bullies like Putin".

However, the PM also levelled with readers, saying that diverging from Russian power would be "painful" and that financial assistance offered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to help pay with rising bills this year could not be afforded "for long".

Read more: Over 43,000 Brits sign up to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes

Read more: Putin's 'lying to you': Editor storms Russian state TV broadcast in anti-war protest

Zelenskyy adviser says Russia is softening on red-lines in Ukraine

Mr Johnson said in the Telegraph: "We cannot go on like this. The world cannot be subject to this continuous blackmail.

"As long as the West is economically dependent on Putin, he will do all he can to exploit that dependence.

"And that is why that dependence must - and will - now end."

It comes as he is set to visit Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, after announcing that the UK would be cutting off Russian oil imports last week.

Mr Johnson will hold talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the hope that Saudi Arabia can raise its production of oil and gas to make up for the reduced reliance on Russia.

He is jetting to Riyadh in a bid to secure the route to diverging from Moscow energy supplies - but has faced calls to scrap the trip altogether over human rights concerns, particularly over recent reports of a mass execution of Saudi prisoners.

Before his evening flight, he is due to host leaders from the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF), an alliance of northern European nations.

He will meet with representatives from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Pictures of the Week Global Photo Gallery

Iran fires air defence batteries as sound of explosions heard near Isfahan

Israeli missile hits Iran as airspace closed across the country

Israel strikes back: Missiles hit Iran as explosions heard and airspace closed

India Election Narendra Modi

India starts voting as Narendra Modi seeks third term as prime minister

Rishi Sunak is to call for an end to the "sick note culture".

End of the 'sick note': Rishi Sunak to stop GPs signing people off work in welfare scheme overhaul

Andrew Malkinson

'Too little, too late': Andrew Malkinson rejects Criminal Cases Review Commission's apology after being wrongly jailed

Argentina NATO

Argentina asks to join Nato as President Milei seeks more prominent role

An officer threatened to arrest the man for 'breaching the peace'

Shocking moment Met police officer threatens to arrest man for being 'quite openly Jewish' at pro-Palestine march

Israel Palestinians UN Security Council

US vetoes widely supported UN resolution backing full membership for Palestine

Trump Hush Money

Twelve jurors confirmed for Trump hush money trial

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall KC admitted refugees have previously been let into the UK without the full checks.

Refugees have been admitted to UK ‘without proper checks’ as Border Force is 'too overwhelmed’, terror watchdog says

Jeremy Clarkson was seen comforting his girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, after tragedy stuck Diddly Squat Farm when two piglets died in an emotional scene captured on an episode of Clarkson's Farm

Jeremy Clarkson comforts sobbing girlfriend after tragedy strikes Diddly Squat Farm in new series

Lord Nick Houghton speaks to LBC’s Andrew Marr.

Ukraine 'is fighting proxy war on behalf of Nato', says ex-military chief as he criticises 'incoherent' defence spending

Peter Murrell has been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party.

Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell charged in connection with embezzlement of funds from SNP

Kenya’s military chief General Francis Ogolla

Kenya’s military chief dies in helicopter crash

Sydney Sweeney hit back at the comments about her.

Sydney Sweeney hits back at 'sad and shameful' producer who said she ‘can’t act’ and ‘isn’t pretty’

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall has hit out at WhatsApp over the lowering of the age limit.

UK’s terror watchdog hits out at WhatsApp over lowering of age limit as he says more kids are being radicalised online