In punishment for Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine, President Joe Biden has imposed a restriction on Russian oil imports. The huge trade move, which came in response to Ukraine’s embattled leader’s pleas, put the US in the lead as Western nations fight to stop Putin’s incursion.
Americans, too, will suffer — at the gas pump. “Defending freedom is going to cost,” Biden admitted.
The shipments were a striking omission in the huge sanctions imposed on Russia as a result of the invasion. Despite heavy constraints on Russia’s financial system, energy exports have maintained a constant flow of cash coming.
“We will not contribute to Putin’s war,” Biden said, describing the additional step as a “powerful blow” to Russia’s capacity to pay the ongoing offensive.
Biden stated that the US is working closely with European partners, who are more reliant on Russian energy supply and may not be able to participate right now.
The decision was the latest attempt by Biden to cut Russia off from much of the global economy, guaranteeing that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a strategic failure, even if he succeeds in capturing land.
“There will never be a win for Putin in Ukraine,” Biden said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tweeted, “Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking at the heart of Putin’s war machine and blocking oil, gas, and coal from the US market.” Encourage other countries and leaders to take your lead.”
The European Union will vow this week to phasing off its energy reliance on Russia as soon as possible, but filling the hole without damaging EU economies will take time. The United Kingdom, which is no longer a member of the European Union, stated on Tuesday that it will phase out Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year.
Unlike the United States, which produces a significant amount of oil and gas, Europe imports 90% of its gas and 97% of its oil products. 40% of Europe’s gas and a quarter of its oil is supplied by Russia. Russian natural gas is not imported by the US.
Oil sanctions have put the president in a bind between domestic political goals and efforts to impose costs on Russia. Despite the fact that Russian oil accounts for a minor percentage of US imports, Biden has stated that he is hesitant to impose a ban since it would reduce supply and raise gasoline costs.
“Putin’s conflict is already wreaking misery on American families at the gas station,” Biden said, adding, “I’ll do everything I can to reduce Putin’s price hike right here at home.”