US reportedly asks Ukraine not to attack Russian oil refineries for fear of retaliation – FT
Moscow Refinery (Photo: EPA / MAXIM SHIPENKOV)

The United States has asked Ukraine to stop attacks on Russian oil refineries because this could raise world oil prices and provoke "retaliation" from Russia, reported the Financial Times newspaper on Friday, citing three anonymous sources.

The Security Service of Ukraine and the Main Intelligence Directorate allegedly received a warning from Washington.

Oil prices this year have already risen by 15% to $85 per barrel, which has been reflected in the cost of gasoline in the United States. Given that many Americans prefer large, fuel-guzzling cars, this could be an important factor in the election campaign.

"Nothing terrifies a sitting American president more than a surge in pump prices during an election year," said Bob McNally, president of consulting firm Rapidan Energy and a former White House energy adviser.

The United States also fears that Russia may retaliate by sabotaging energy infrastructure important to the West, such as the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline system. This is the main export route for Kazakh oil, which runs through Russia. Oil reaches Novorossiysk, where it is loaded onto tankers. This route is used by Western companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron.

The newspaper was unable to obtain official comments from the SBU or DIU.

The spokesman of the US National Security Council said that Washington does not encourage or facilitate strikes by Ukraine on the territory of Russia. The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment.'s source in the Defense Forces said that he could not comment on such information, but noted that "reality will tell."

Two days ago, on March 20, Jake Sullivan, the adviser to the US president on national security issues, came to Kyiv with an unannounced visit.

The last of the attacks on a refinery took place on March 17 when the SBU attacked the Slaviansk Refinery in Krasnodar Krai with drones.