Biden bans Russian oil and gas imports to U.S., targeting "main artery" of Russia's economy
CBSNews | President Biden placed a restriction on Russian oil and gas imports on Tuesday in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin's main source of money as Russian soldiers continue to bombard Ukrainian cities.
"Today, I'm announcing that the United States is going after Russia's primary economic artery," Trump stated. "We've put a moratorium on all Russian oil and gas imports. This implies that Russian oil will no longer be admitted in American ports, and the American people will strike back at Putin's war machine once more."
Sources say the announcement that the ban also applies to Russian coal. Despite US efforts to liberate oil reserves and increase supply, gas prices have risen to all-time highs in the aftermath of the Russian invasion. Mr. Biden stated that the decision was reached after extensive engagement with European allies and partners, but that certain countries "may not be in a position to join us."
The United Kingdom announced that it would begin phasing out Russian oil and oil products imports, with the goal of removing them entirely from British markets by the end of 2022. According to a French official, the European Union, which relies more heavily on Russian energy, is unlikely to join the United States and the United Kingdom.
According to the Department of Energy, Russian oil accounted for less than 5% of total US oil imports in December, leaving the US significantly less reliant on Russian energy than its European competitors. Nonetheless, many believe that prohibiting Russian imports will force oil prices to rise to new all-time highs. Mr. Biden warned that while the Russian incursion continues to strain global energy markets, Americans should expect increased gas prices.
"Today's choice has a cost here at home," Mr. Biden remarked on Tuesday. "At the gas pump, Putin's conflict is already costing Americans money. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukraine's borders, the price of gasoline has increased by 75 cents in the United States. And it'll continue to rise as a result of this action. I'll do everything I can to keep Putin's price hike from affecting us at home."
Later in the day, when asked what he plans to do about rising gas costs, Trump said he "can't do much right now" and that the higher prices are "Russia's problem."
In the 13 days after Russian forces attacked Ukraine, Ukrainian leaders have begged Washington and the West to cut off Russian energy imports. In recent days, lawmakers from both parties have increased their pressure on the administration to put a ban on Russian oil, preparing legislation to do so if the Biden administration fails to act.
According to a Democratic aide, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Democratic colleagues Tuesday morning that regardless of Mr. Biden's announcement, the House will vote on a bill that would ban Russian oil imports. According to the aide, the speaker was promised by the White House that the ban would be announced for days while lawmakers worked on the legislation.
Fearing price rises, the administration was originally hesitant to take action against Russian energy imports. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that negotiations are "ongoing internally as well as with our peers and allies in Europe and throughout the world," indicating that top officials are willing to impose the ban.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the United States for its leadership.
He stated on Twitter, "Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking at the heart of Putin's war machine and barring oil, gas, and coal from US market." "Inspire other countries and leaders to do the same."
Since the invasion, the US and its allies have slapped harsh sanctions on Russia, targeting the country's financial system and Russian leaders, including Putin himself.