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U.S. violently attacks Putin and bans all Russian oil imports – Daily Local

ZEKE MILLER, MIKE BALSAMO, JOSH BOAK

Washington (AP) —Tuesday, President Joe Biden ordered a ban on Russia’s oil imports in retaliation for the onslaught of Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. Major trade actions in response to the plea of ​​Ukrainian embarrassed leaders have put the United States at the forefront as Western nations seek to stop Putin’s invasion.

Americans will also feel pain with gasoline pumps. Biden acknowledged and declared that “protecting freedom is costly.”

Imports were a clear omission of the large-scale sanctions imposed on Russia over aggression. Energy exports have stabilized the flow of cash to Russia, despite severe restrictions on Russia’s financial sector.

“We do not participate in subsidizing Putin’s war,” Biden said, calling the new action a “strong blow” to Russia’s ability to fund ongoing attacks.

Mr Biden said the United States is working in close consultation with its European allies, which depend on Russia’s energy supply, and the person he admits may not be able to join immediately. This announcement represents a recent Bayden attempt to separate Russia from much of the world economy and ensure that the invasion of Ukraine is a strategic loss to Putin, even if he occupies the territory.

“Ukraine will never be a victory for Putin,” Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Biden’s actions in a tweet. Encourage them to follow other countries and leaders. “

The European Union promises this week to phase out its reliance on Russia for energy demand as soon as possible, but it may take some time to fill the void without damaging the EU economy. The UK, which is no longer part of the EU, announced on Tuesday that oil and petroleum products from Russia will be phased out by the end of the year.

Unlike the United States, a major oil and gas producer, Europe relies on imports for 90% of its gas and 97% of its petroleum products. Russia supplies 40% of Europe’s gas and a quarter of oil. The United States does not import Russian natural gas.

The issue of oil sanctions has created a conflict for the president between domestic political interests and efforts to impose costs on Russia. Russia’s oil accounts for a small portion of US imports, but Biden said he was reluctant to ban it, reducing supply and pushing up gasoline prices.

Inflation has peaked in 40 years and is largely supported by gas prices, which could hurt Biden towards the November midterm elections.

“The Putin war has already hurt American families with petrol pumps,” Biden said, adding that “we will do everything we can to minimize price increases at Putin’s home.”

Gas prices have risen for several weeks because of the conflict and in anticipation of potential sanctions on Russia’s energy sector. According to AutoClub AAA, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States reached a record $ 4.17 on Tuesday, rising 10 cents a day and 55 cents from last week.

Biden said it was understandable that prices were rising, but warned the US energy industry of “excessive price increases” and consumer exploitation.

Even before the US ban, many western energy companies, including ExxonMobil and BP, have moved to cut off ties with Russia and limit imports. Shell, which purchased Russian oil shipments this weekend, apologized for the move on Tuesday in international criticism and promised to stop further purchases of Russia’s energy supply. Russian crude oil imports fell to zero last week in February, according to preliminary data from the US Department of Energy.

In 2021, the United States imported about 245 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia, according to the US Energy Information Administration. This is a 24% increase over the year.

“Showing Russia that energy is at the table is an important step,” said Max Bergman, a former State Department employee who is now a senior researcher at the Center for Progress in the United States, who is devoted to democracy.

Mr Bergman said it was natural for the United States to take this step in front of European countries that depend on Russia’s energy.

“Even if the steps aren’t symmetrical, this is all done in concert,” he said. “We are always talking to them.”

The White House said the ban on new purchases came into effect immediately, but the administration allowed a 45-day “winddown” for continued delivery under existing contracts.

News of Biden’s decision on Tuesday was first reported by Bloomberg.

The White House announcement will be made under bipartisan pressure on Capitol Hill to ban Russia’s energy and impose other economic costs.

Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi gave a big boost when she declared that she would “ban it.”

On Monday, Democrats of the Powerful Methods and Means Commission banned Russia’s oil imports and struck a bipartisan bill to defeat further trade sanctions in the country due to a backlash from the White House against actions, according to an aide. Before the announcement was posted and then deleted by Biden before making a decision.

“President Biden is finally doing what the House of Representatives has been pushing for,” Republican leader Sen John Barrasso said Tuesday. “His decision to ban Russian oil is a coveted step to kill Putin’s dollar box.”

Jason Ferman, a professor at Harvard University and a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, said: However, it poses some challenges. The price of the pump will be high, but there is no way around it. “

Mr Pelosi said the House of Representatives will vote on Tuesday on a bill banning Russia’s oil imports, imposing trade costs on Russia and expanding sanctions on Russians for attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

But late Tuesday, the House of Representatives postponed voting on the bill amid disagreements among lawmakers on details. The House of Representatives was expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday, according to an aide given to discuss the situation anonymously.

Prior to the invasion, Russian oil and gas accounted for more than one-third of government revenues. Global energy prices have skyrocketed after the invasion and continue to rise despite the coordinated liberation of strategic stockpiles, making Russia’s exports even more profitable.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States and international partners have sanctioned Russia’s largest banks, central banks and the Ministry of Finance, blocking certain financial institutions from the SWIFT’s messaging system. rice field.

However, a rule issued by the Ministry of Finance allows Russian energy transactions to continue to pass through unlicensed banks that are not based in the United States in order to minimize disruption to the global energy market. doing.

Germany’s Prime Minister Olaf Scholz opposed the European ban on Russia’s energy imports and said there was no other way to meet the European Union’s motor fuel, heat and electricity, and industrial use needs. Deputy Prime Minister Robert Habeck said Tuesday when he visited Washington last week, US officials admitted that Europe was in a different situation.

“They told me at the meeting that Germany wouldn’t demand or demand to do the same, but I could then take similar steps for us, and for me. I presume that it will be needed as soon as possible to produce it. “

Russian oil accounts for a small part of the US’s total energy imports, but the US can replace Russian crude oil with imports from other oil-rich countries, which is politically problematic. I understand this.

A key US senator has warned the Biden administration by seeking oil imports from Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro administration.

“The Biden administration’s efforts to unify the world against the murderous tyrant in Moscow should not be undermined by supporting a dictator investigating crimes against humanity in Karakas,” said Senate Diplomatic Commissioner. Senator Bob Menendez of the Society said. Diplomatic Commission, in a statement late Monday. “The democratic desires of the Venezuelan people, like the determination and courage of the Ukrainians, are worth more than a few thousand barrels of oil.”

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Contributed by AP writers Matthew Daly, Lisa Mascaro and Chris Megerian.

U.S. violently attacks Putin and bans all Russian oil imports – Daily Local

Source link U.S. violently attacks Putin and bans all Russian oil imports – Daily Local

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