Biden Calls for End to Normal Trade Relations With Russia

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President Joe Biden has announced the latest round of sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against Russia in response to the now weeks-long Russian military campaign in Ukraine.

In an address Friday, Biden said he will sign bipartisan legislation that will revoke Russia’s permanent normal trade relations status with the United States, making it more difficult for Russia to do business with the West.

Biden says the move to end normal trade relations with Russia was done in coordination with Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

“[Russia President Vladimir] Putin must pay the price,” Biden said. “He cannot pursue a war that threatens the very foundations of international peace and stability, and then ask for financial help from the international community.”

Biden also says he’s banning Russian imports like seafood, Vodka, and diamonds. He’s also banning the export of luxury goods to Russia and increasing the list of Russian individuals to be sanctioned.

These latest measures comes in addition to a U.S. ban on Russian energy imports as well as sanctions already placed on Russian financial systems and individuals in Putin’s inner circle.

The announcement comes days after the United States upped its direct assistance to Ukraine over the past two weeks to $107 million and Congress passed a spending plan that included $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine.

By Nick Ciolino

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