President Joe Biden on Tuesday imposed a restriction on Russian oil and gas imports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier today Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson said joining other nations in reducing their energy dependency on Russia.
This move targets Russian President Vladimir Putin’s primary source of money as Russian soldiers continue to pound Ukrainian cities. Prior to the announcement of the oil ban, Russia warned of “catastrophic” consequences for the world economy and hinted at the possibility of shutting down its main gas pipeline to Germany.
“Today, I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy,” Biden said. “We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
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The gas prices have already reached record highs in response to the Russian invasion, despite US efforts to unlock oil reserves and increase supplies.
“The decision today is not without cost here at home,” Biden said. “Putin’s war is already hurting Americans at the gas pump. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price at the gas pump in America went up 75 cents. And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”
Biden stated that the decision was reached after extensive conversation with European allies and partners, but admitted that certain allies “may not be in a position to join us.”
The president spoke shortly after the European Commission announced a two-thirds reduction in EU demand for Russian gas – the EU imports 40% of its gas from Russia.
Johnson added in a statement: “In another economic blow to the Putin regime following their illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil throughout this year, building on our severe package of international economic sanctions.”
“Working with industry, we are confident that this can be achieved over the course of the year, providing enough time for companies to adjust and ensuring consumers are protected.”