Boris Johnson’s call comes ahead of his expected trip to Saudi Arabia, which the PM reportedly hopes will help persuade the kingdom to boost its own production of oil and gas.
Boris Johnson has called on Western nations to “take back control” of their energy supplies and end an “addiction” to Russian oil and gas that has left them subject to “blackmail” by Vladimir Putin.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, the prime minister insisted the West “cannot go on like this” and remain “economically dependent” on Russian resources following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Johnson’s call comes ahead of his expected trip to Saudi Arabia, which the PM reportedly hopes will help persuade the kingdom to boost its own production of oil and gas.
This would allow the West to wean itself off Russian supplies.
In his newspaper article, Mr Johnson acknowledged “a terrible mistake” was made following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, when Western countries “decided we could somehow go back to normal”.
“Economic relations did not just resume – they intensified, with the West taking more Russian gas than ever before, becoming more dependent on the goodwill of Putin and more exposed to the vagaries of the global gas and oil price,” he wrote.
“And so when he finally came to launch his vicious war in Ukraine, he knew the world would find it very hard to punish him. He knew that he had created an addiction.”
The PM added that as the Russian assault on Ukraine continues, “the cost of oil and gas rises still further, meaning less money in your pocket and more in Putin’s.