Biden revokes Russia's most favored nation status, bans imports of diamonds, vodka

The White House says it will continue to "squeeze Putin."
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Joe Biden delivers his second State of the Union address, Mar. 1, 2022
Joe Biden delivers his second State of the Union address, Mar. 1, 2022
(Win McNamee/Getty)

On Friday, President Joe Biden announced a ban on the import of Russian diamonds, seafood, and vodka in the White House's most recent rebuke of the country that continues to attack Ukraine.

He added that Western allies plan to revoke Russia's most favored nation status as an equal status trade partner. The move further adds to the sanctions that have begun to cripple the Russian economy since the war began two weeks ago. U.S. exports of luxury goods to Russia have also been barred by the government, and Biden has announced plans to further sanction oligarchs connected to Vladimir Putin and their families.

According to international rules, the "most favored nation" designation implies reciprocal trade privileges, including lower tariffs and taxes imposed on the border. Countries that will strip Russia of that status include the U.S., Canada, all members of the European Union, and Japan. 

Biden described the most recent decision as "another crushing blow to the Russian economy." 

Congress has signaled its support for Biden's decision to strip Russia of its trade status. 

On Friday, Biden also alluded too plans to cut Russia off from global financial institutions including the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. 

"We're going to continue to squeeze Putin. He is the aggressor and ... must pay the price," said the president.