Speaking to the National Assembly and the press on March 21, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak discussed the plan to diversify partners in oil export.
Asked about whether the Russian government would consider stopping uranium exports to the US as a response to sanctions from Washington, Novak said the matter was being discussed and considered.
Earlier, on March 8, US President Joe Biden announced a ban on oil, gas and coal imports from Russia as part of sanctions related to Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine. So far, however, uranium remains off the list of sanctioned items.
Half of the uranium used at US nuclear power plants is imported from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Currently, the US does not produce uranium despite its abundant reserves.
The U.S. uranium mining facilities in Texas and Wyoming have been idle for years. However, in recent weeks, several energy companies have said they are ready to resume uranium production to meet the needs of nuclear energy production facilities.
In addition, talking about the impact of sanctions, Deputy Prime Minister Novak said that the US and UK embargo on Russian energy sources would not mean great losses to the Russian economy. “This affects us to a lesser extent because we provide very little energy there. We provide 3% of total crude oil exports and 7% of petroleum products for the US,” explained Novak.
With countries in the European Union that are more dependent on Russian fuel, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia said it is unlikely that they will impose a ban on energy imports from Russia because an alternative source has not been found.
Russia could diversify its energy exports to Asian countries in the worst-case scenario.
In addition to conventional uranium, Russia also supplies a fuel called HALEU (High-Assay low-enriched Uranium) uranium, enriched between 5 and 19.75% and can be used in factories. Advanced nuclear is expected to be developed in this decade or in the 30s of the 21st century.
While Russia is considering blocking uranium exports to the US, US Republican congressmen are also drafting a bill to ban uranium imports from Russia to punish the country for its military campaign in Ukraine.