U.S. Bans Russian Gas and Oil Imports, Targets ‘Main Artery’ of Russia’s Economy

By Paul Riegler on 8 March 2022
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A hall in the Grand Kremlin Palace

President Joseph Biden on Tuesday announced a ban on Russian oil, gas, and coal imports, taking aim at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Such exports are a main source of revenue for the Russian economy.

“Today, I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy,” Biden said. “We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be accepted in U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”

The United Kingdom had said, earlier in the day, that it would end imports of Russian oil.

“The UK will phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. This transition will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports – which make up 8% of UK demand,” the country’s secretary of state for energy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said in a tweet.

France, which relies more heavily on Russian energy, is not expected to join the two countries in the ban.

The president, meanwhile, said that the move will result in higher fuel prices at the pump, despite the fact that the country only imports 5% of its energy needs from Russia.

“The decision today is not without cost here at home,” he said in announcing the move. “Putin’s war is already hurting Americans at the gas pump. Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukraine’s borders, just since then, the price at the gas pump in America went up 75 cents. And with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”

The reaction in Ukraine was one of gratitude.

“Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from US market,” the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said in a tweet on Tuesday. “Encourage other countries and leaders to follow.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)