MANILA – The Philippines was warned Friday that it runs the “risk of financing” Russia’s war in Ukraine if it decides to import fuel and other commodities from Moscow, eager to sell oil despite the economic sanctions imposed by the West.
The United States Embassy in Manila has sounded the alarm over a potential decision by the Philippines, a United States ally in Asia, to buy oil and agricultural fertilizers from Russia, after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. recently expressed his willingness to do so to combat high inflation in his country. country.
“We would welcome the opportunity to consult with our Filipino allies before they make a decision that could risk funding Putin’s war in Ukraine,” the embassy said, responding to a request for comment from Kyodo News.
The embassy added that the United States, as a close friend, partner and ally, is “committed to working with the Philippines to address economic challenges.”
While the United States and its allies have imposed economic sanctions on major oil producer and exporter Russia since its invasion of Ukraine in late February, the Philippines has not followed suit.
Marcos told reporters earlier this month: “We are taking a very balanced position because the truth is that we may have to deal with Russia for fuel, for fertilizers.”
Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Marat Pavlov said in a statement on Thursday that Russia was “encouraged” by Marcos’ statements which reflect his government’s “independent foreign policy”.
According to Pavlov, several major Russian suppliers have expressed readiness to supply fuel to the Philippines.
The finance chiefs of the advanced economies of the Group of Seven agreed in September to set a cap on Russian oil prices in a bid to cut Russia’s revenue for its war in Ukraine while preventing global energy prices to soar holding crude oil.