The government has increased gas prices in Israel again this month, as costs rise in tandem with skyrocketing oil costs resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Russia is a primary exporter of crude oil to Europe. At midnight Sunday, the price of gasoline will rise by NIS 0.34 to NIS 7.05 per liter, the highest price in eight years. Only four weeks ago, gas prices were already making headlines: on February 1 the government raised the maximum price of 95 octane gasoline by NIS 0.34, after raising utility and product prices.
“This is dramatic, and we will have to pay for it at the gas station,” Tel Aviv University’s Dr. Alexander Coleman told The Jerusalem Post last week. “In Israel, we pay more because 60% of what we pay for gasoline is taxes, so everything is amplified dramatically.”
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While Russia’s oil and gas exports are not expected to be the target of sanctions against Russia, according to a senior US State Department official, the cost of oil has climbed amid the political turmoil surrounding Russia’s aggression.
This is not the first time that tensions between Russia and Ukraine have led to increased oil prices. In February 2014, fears that energy supplies could be disrupted were stoked when Russia-friendly Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted, immediately preceding the Russian invasion of Crimea. Within days of these events, the price of Brent crude shot up to $110.64, though a host of other geopolitical factors quickly carried the price away further after that.
At the time of writing, the current price of a barrel of Brent crude oil (a standard measurement of oil prices in Europe) is $98.63, after reaching a high of $105.59 on February 25.