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Monday, August 8, 2022

Biden declares a ban on oil imports from Russia, describing the move as a “blow to Putin’s war machine”

On Tuesday, President Biden announced a ban on the import of Russian oil, gas, and coal in response to what he called President Vladimir V. Putin’s “vicious war of choice” in Ukraine. However, he cautioned Americans that the decision to inflict economic pain on Russia would inevitably result in higher gas prices in the United States.

The president’s action immediately halted a relatively small flow of oil into the United States, but it was quickly followed by a British pledge to phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of the year and a declaration from the European Commission — the executive arm of the European Union, which is heavily reliant on Russian oil and gas — to become self-sufficient in that supply in the coming years. The European Union is heavily reliant on Russian oil and gas, and the European Commission has declared itself to be self

The choices had an immediate effect on the global energy market, which was concerned that the supply of oil would be reduced as a result of the judgments. Nationally, according to AAA, the national average price of normal gasoline, which had already increased in previous weeks, hit $4.173, not adjusted for inflation, marking a new record and an average rise of around 72 cents from just a month earlier.

Despite tremendous, bipartisan pressure from Congress to deny Russia any further oil money from American wells, President Biden acted without the unanimity among friends that has defined the majority of the international reaction to Russia’s aggressiveness over the previous few months.

The actions taken by the United Kingdom and the European Union fell short of Mr. Biden’s call for a ban. Despite the fact that “everything is on the table,” France’s minister for international trade, Franck Riester, told Franceinfo radio station on Monday that authorities would need to study the “consequences” of an energy boycott. Italy’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, has said that the country’s overdependence on Russian gas is a strategic vulnerability. Italy imports more than 40% of its energy in the form of Russian gas.

A fresh wave of large firms from across the globe started closing down their activities in Russia on Tuesday, even as President Joe Biden spoke, hailing his ban as “another tremendous blow to Putin’s war machine.”

Officials said Mr. Biden had been debating whether to shut off Russian oil supplies for many days because of concerns that doing so would accelerate the already fast increase in the price of gasoline. Because it is an election year, it is a powerful political issue for Americans, and it will be a litmus test for how far people are ready to go in support of Ukraine.

As a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House worked to finalise legislation to impose a ban on Russian oil, the White House expressed deep reservations, according to officials who were keeping tabs on the discussions. They said the administration appeared wary of allowing Congress to take the lead in enacting a ban.

The president and his advisors have considered a number of extra steps that may be taken to mitigate the effect of the prohibition, including the release of more oil from strategic stockpiles. After agreeing to release 30 million barrels of oil last week, the United States will join a group of 30 other countries in releasing a total of 60 million barrels of oil.

Despite the fact that two million refugees have left the nation in search of safety, battles raged throughout Ukraine on Tuesday as humanitarian authorities reported. However, when evacuations via alleged “green lanes” continued to be targeted, the number of fatalities climbed.

According to White House officials, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday prohibiting anybody in the United States from importing “Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal” into the country. As a result, new American investment in Russia’s energy sector or foreign firms that invest in the country’s oil and gas industries would be barred, according to government authorities.

Mr. Biden noted in his announcement of his decision that several European nations, like Germany and France, would most likely not follow suit since they depend on Russian energy for a greater proportion of their energy needs.

Mr. Biden made brief remarks before departing for Texas to speak at an event on the health effects of environmental toxins on veterans. He pledged to do everything in his power to keep the impact of his decision on gas prices as low as possible, but he did not say whether the United States would seek to import oil from other countries already subject to sanctions, such as Venezuela or Iran.

Russia has already been subjected to harsh sanctions and export restrictions by the United States and its allies in Europe and other parts of the world. In the beginning, the prospect of such penalties was meant to serve as a deterrent against an invasion from ever occurring in the first place.

This includes freezing the assets of major Russian banks and Mr. Putin’s wealthy Russian friends, cutting off some Russian banks from the international banking system and prohibiting Russia from acquiring certain imports, such as high-tech equipment. However, none of these measures were successful in averting the war.

As part of an attempt to maintain the uninterrupted flow of natural gas and oil across the globe, President Biden and his colleagues had previously exempted energy supplies from such sanctions.

When asked on Tuesday whether he had a message for the American people about the spike in petrol prices, President Joe Biden was direct.

David Faber
I am a Business Journalist of The National Era
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