JOE Biden is set to announce a ban on Russian oil imports in a speech today.
President Biden has decided to make the move to toughen the toll on Russia’s economy in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
The move follows pleas by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to U.S. and Western officials to cut off the imports.
Energy exports have kept a steady influx of cash flowing to Russia despite otherwise severe restrictions on its financial sector.
The U.S. imports about 100,000 barrels a day from Russia, only about 5 percent of Russia’s crude oil exports, according to Rystad Energy. Last year, roughly 8 percent of U.S. imports of oil and petroleum products came from Russia.
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Biden spoke of Ukraine in SOTU
President Biden spoke of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in his State of the Union address last Tuesday.
The president began his speech by denouncing Putin’s “premeditated” and “unprovoked” attack.
He then announced that the United States will stand behind Ukraine by banning Russian flights as well as working with NATO to “choke Russia’s access” to bank accounts and other resources.
He is expected to announce a ban on Russian oil imports on Tuesday.
‘This aggression cannot go unanswered’
President Biden concluded a speech on February 24 about sanctions against Russia by saying, “This aggression cannot go unanswered, if it did, the consequences for America would be worse.”
“America stands up to bullies. we stand up to freedom. This is who we are.”
“… Putin’s choice to make an unjustifiable war will make Russia weaker and leave the world strong,” he added.
“Freedom will prevail.”
President Biden previously said of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine that Putin has “staged a political theater in Moscow that Ukraine was going to invade and launch a war against Russia, use chemical weapons, and commit genocide,” adding that Putin did so without evidence.
The Kremlin’s actions were “never about genuine security concerns,” Biden said, “But Putin’s desire for empire by any means necessary. Ultimately choosing war without a cause.”
Oil prices soar
Oil prices hit a 14-year high on Monday, according to NPR.
US gasoline prices, in particular, have now hit a record, with AAA now putting the national average at $4.17/gallon.
The previous high was $4.11 in 2008.
A ‘different prism’
“We are going to continue to consult with, continue to convey where our plans, where our discussions are here internally with the Europeans,” Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday, ahead of the speech.
“But I would look at it through a different prism than past coordinated efforts.”
Both sides of the aisle
Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress pushed for the ban, according to NPR.
“According to Reuters, 80% of Americans support a ban on Russian oil imports, as @Sen_JoeManchin and I have proposed,” Senator Murkowski tweeted on March 6.
“It’s this simple: the vast majority of Americans do not want their dollars to finance Russia’s awful war on Ukraine. If @POTUS doesn’t act, Congress will.”
No ‘strategic interest’
Previously, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters last week, “We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy.”
That interest has seemingly changed for the Biden administration, and President Biden is expected to announce a ban on Russian oil imports in a speech on Tuesday.
Ukraine outlet reports on ban
On Twitter, the Kyiv Independent announced the upcoming ban on Russian oil imported by the United States
The Kyiv Independent is an English-language journalism outlet in Ukraine.
Laying the groundwork
Senator Chris Coons said the Biden administration is coordinating with European allies “and making sure that we’ve done the groundwork to understand how to effectively implement a ban on Russian energy,” Reuters reported.
What will Biden talk about?
President Biden will discuss a ban on Russian oil imports in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
He is expected to speak at 10.45am on Tuesday.
Limiting pain at the pump
President Biden previously explained his wariness around imposing energy sanctions along with other sanctions when the conflict began in earnest two weeks ago.
He said he was trying “to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump,” the Associated Press reported.
United States acting alone
The United States will be acting alone on this matter, according to the Associated Press.
But the US will be working closely with European allies, who depend more on Russian energy supplies, the outlet noted.
When is President Biden speaking?
President Biden is scheduled to announce the ban on Tuesday.
His public schedule notes he is expected to speak at 10.45am.
Thousands of barrels
The United States imports about 100,000 barrels a day from Russia, only about 5 percent of Russia’s crude oil exports, according to Rystad Energy.
Energy exports have kept a steady influx of cash flowing to Russia in spite of otherwise severe restrictions on its financial sector in reaction to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Zelenskyy requested ban
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked US and Western officials to cut off Russian oil imports, the Associated Press reported.
President Joe Biden has decided to ban Russian oil imports.
The move is in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.
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