US bans all imports of Russian oil
President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that the United States will ban all imports of Russian oil, hardening the economic cost to Russia of the Ukraine invasion, although he acknowledged that Americans will be affected economically, particularly by the rise in the price of gasoline. .
The move follows Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskyy's pleas to US and Western officials to cut off imports, which were a blatant disregard of heavy sanctions imposed on Moscow for the invasion.
Energy exports have maintained a steady inflow of cash flow to Russia despite severe restrictions on its financial sector. Biden said the United States would take the action on its own, but after consultations with European allies that are more dependent on energy exported from Russia. Russian natural gas comprises a third of Europe's consumption of that fuel. The United States does not import natural gas from Russia.
Russian oil will no longer be accepted at US ports — and the American people will deal another powerful blow against Putin's war machine. pic.twitter.com/dk7QNXnDA6
President Biden (@POTUS) March 9, 2022
"We are not going to subsidize Putin's war," Biden declared, calling the ban a "severe blow" to Russia's ability to wage its offensive in Ukraine. He warned that the measure will cause price increases in the United States, stating that "defending freedom has its price."
Biden said that under the circumstances, the price increase is understandable, but warned energy companies not to apply "excessive increases" or take advantage of consumers.
▹USA and Great Britain prohibit imports of Russian oil. ▹Adidas, Estee Lauder, Shell, Nissan and other companies stop their operations in Russia. ▹More news about Russia's invasion of Ukraine at: https://t.co/yuOFzjSjSW
— AP News (@AP_Noticias) March 8, 2022
In this sense, on Tuesday it was announced that the average price of gasoline in the United States reached a record figure of 4,17 dollars per gallon. The highest price ever recorded so far was $4,10 a gallon, reached on July 17, 2008.
Separately, Britain also announced a ban on imports of Russian oil. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said Russia's oil and oil products will be phased out by the end of the year to give the market time to adjust to the change.
The European Union announced this week a commitment to end its dependence on Russian energy as soon as possible, although it acknowledged that doing so without affecting the continent's economies will take time.
When the conflict broke out two weeks ago, Biden explained that he was reluctant to ban the import of Russian energy because he did not want to cause a rise in the price of gasoline. Before the invasion, oil and gas exports comprised more than a third of the Russian government's economic income.
Energy prices have soared since the invasion despite Western governments' decision to release strategic reserves, making Russian exports even more lucrative. The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on major Russian banks, the Russian Ministry of Finance and its Central Bank, and have sought to cut Russia off from the SWIFT international financial messaging system.
Inflation in the United States, fueled in part by fuel prices, is at heights not seen in 40 years and that is hurting Biden in the polls with the midterm elections in November just months away.
Author: Patricia Chung 7:03 am