Biden announces U.S. ban on Russian oil: dealing 'blow to Putin's war machine'

The announcement follows a weekend of back and forth between the White House and Capitol Hill lawmakers

Updated: March 8, 2022 - 11:37am

President Biden announced Tuesday morning a ban on Russian imports of oil and natural gas in response to Russian leader Vladimir Putin's ongoing, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The U.S. and Western allies have already imposed sanctions on Russia that have hurt the country's economy but none as far-reaching as an all out oil ban. 

"Russian oil will no longer be available at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another blow to Putin's war machine," said the president.

Until now, the White House has attempted to insulate global energy markets from the impact of banning Russian oil and gas, with an eye on climbing gas prices at home in the U.S.

The president spoke Tuesday morning to announce "actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine."

Biden added that, although the U.S. is taking this step, European allies may not be in a position to join America with its latest step. "The United States produces far more oil domestically than all of Europe combined," he said.

The administration initially appeared resistant to calls to ban Russian oil, but the president came around to the idea over the last several days as bipartisan support on the Hill for a ban became visible. 

In the periphery of the upcoming decision, Democratic lawmakers remain concerned that a ban, which will trigger higher gas prices than American's are already experiencing, will be politically devastating during the upcoming midterm election. 

The president preemptively attempted to defend himself and his party against such criticism. "It's simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production," he said. 

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