Biden announces ban on Russian oil imports
President Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. is “targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy” by banning imports of Russian oil, the latest sanction intended to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
“We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war,” he said in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
Biden’s announcement came amid rising pressure from Democrats and Republicans, and it reflects a willingness to accept the political risk of rising gas prices to economically retaliate against Russia.
“Defending freedom is going to cost,” Biden said. “It’s going to cost us as well in the United States.”
Although Biden has tried to work in concert with European allies, he acknowledged that many are not announcing a similar ban because they’re more reliant on Moscow for oil and gas.
“So we can take this step when others can not,” he said. “But we’re working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well.”
Britain also bans Russian oil
Britain is joining the United States in announcing a ban on imports of Russian oil.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says oil and oil products from Russia will be phased out by the end of the year. He said the transition period “will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports,” which account for 8% of U.K. demand.
Kwarteng said the U.K. would work with its other oil suppliers, including the U.S., the Netherlands and the Gulf states, to secure extra supplies.