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Zelensky praises UK’s phasing out of Russian oil as sending ‘powerful signal’

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Mr Zelensky welcomed the announcement coordinated between the US and UK on Tuesday to hurt Russia financially over its invasion of Ukraine.

He earlier received standing ovations during a virtual speech to the House of Commons, during which he called for the UK to “make sure that our Ukrainian skies are safe”.

The historic address came shortly after ministers announced the UK will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year.

In his daily address to Ukraine, Mr Zelensky went on to say: “This is a powerful signal to the whole world.

“Either Russia will respect international law and not wage wars, or it will have no money.”

However, in a move likely to draw criticism from campaigners against the climate crisis, ministers were considering steps that could lead to a fracking rethink in the UK.

Amid concerns over soaring energy costs, it was understood two Cuadrilla sites in Lancashire may be handed over to the Royal Geographical Society rather than being concreted over.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been under a “moratorium” for over two years but the move could allow for the sites to be opened up at a later date.

US President Joe Biden ordered a ban on Russian oil imports, while the European Union was also expected to announce a phasing out of dependence on Moscow’s energy.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng urged businesses to “use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected”, with 8% of UK oil demand coming from Russia.

MPs give a standing ovation after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Commons (House of Commons/PA) / PA Wire

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