Biden Announces Ban on Russian Oil

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President Joe Biden announced a ban on all Russian oil imports Tuesday in the latest move from the United States to isolate Russia’s economy in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

This latest measure comes in addition to sanctions already placed on Russian financial systems and individuals in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

“This is a move that has strong bipartisan support in Congress and I believe in the country,” said Biden. “Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear that we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”

Biden acknowledged the move would cost Americans as well. It comes as gas prices in the United States reach record highs. The national average cost for a gallon of gas reached $4.17 Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading at more than $128 per barrel Tuesday, having reached its highest level since 2008, $130, in the previous session.

Phil Flynn, an analyst for Price Futures Group, told The Epoch Times Tuesday that Biden’s move will likely leave a void in the oil and gas market.

“I think it’s going to cost you at the gasoline pump. It’s going to cost you at the diesel pump,” said Flynn. “It gets into the way that Russian oil is refined by these refiners that use this heavier oil. It’s gets a little bit wonky, but its going be more difficult for refiners to replace that oil.”

Some major oil companies have also said they will not buy from Russia, including ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell.

Russia provides 10 percent of the U.S. supply of natural gas and oil, and roughly 40 percent of the European Union’s.

“We have to apply maximum pressure on Vladimir Putin and Russia until it ceases and desists with respect to its aggression and the slaughtering of innocent individuals in Ukraine,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) told reporters in Washington. “There may be some sacrifice that will be required across the world.”

Countries from all over the world have imposed sanctions against Russia since the start of the invasion but have drawn the line at banning Russian oil.

By Nick Ciolino

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