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Biden bans all imports of Russian oil into the US

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Biden bans all imports of Russian oil into the US

WASHINGTON – President Biden said Tuesday that the United States was punishing Russia for a “vicious cycle of choice” in Ukraine by imposing sanctions on the country’s oil and gas imports, but warned Americans that the decision was inevitably painful, That would mean higher prices at the gas pump. ,

“I said from the start that I would be on par with the American people,” Biden said. “And when I first spoke about it, I said that protecting liberty can be costly. It’s also going to cost us in the United States. ,

Mr Biden’s decision effectively shuts down a relatively small influx of oil into the United States, which derives less than 10 percent of its energy resources from Russia. Republicans and Democrats in Congress were urging the president to take steps to ensure Mr Putin was not profiting from US purchases of oil.

Britain joined the United States in taking action on Tuesday. In an announcement around the same time that Mr Biden was speaking, Britain said it would end Russian oil imports by the end of the year in a bid to bolster Russian President Vladimir’s economic isolation. V. Putin.

The British decision does not affect Russian gas supplies and will give oil importers several months to work out alternative plans to try to avoid any disruption.

Unlike many other Western European countries, the UK is not a major importer of Russian energy. Still, according to government data, Russia accounted for 8.3 percent of Britain’s crude oil imports in 2020, and prices are already rising at gas stations, while other energy costs, for industry and domestic heating, are rising there. Has been.

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In brief remarks before leaving for Texas for an event about the veterans, Mr. Biden vowed to do everything he could to reduce the impact of the decision on gas prices, but he did not specify whether the United States Wants to import oil from other countries. Already under sanctions like Venezuela or Iran.

And he warned oil companies in the United States not to take advantage of the decision by arbitrarily raising prices.

“We all have to pay the price for Russia’s aggression,” he said. “And this is not the time for profiteering or raising the price.”

Officials said Mr Biden had struggled for days about the move amid concerns about whether it would trigger an already sharp rise in the price of gasoline – a move for Americans in a crucial election year. Powerful political issue.

Already, concerns about disruption in oil flows around the world have driven up the price of Brent crude, the global benchmark for oil. Brent crude reached $130 a barrel on Tuesday morning. It is at a high of $139 a barrel, up 26 percent from the previous week.

In his remarks, Mr Biden sought to blunt attacks from Republicans who have already accused the administration of pushing environmental policies – such as halting drilling on some public lands – that made the situation worse. Is. Some Republicans have urged the president to allow more drilling as a way to replace oil coming from Russia.

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Mr Biden said oil companies in the United States already have permission to drill in areas they have not yet exploited.

“They now have 9,000 permits to drill,” he said. “They may be drilling now, tomorrow, last week, last year. They have 9,000 to drill on the shore that are already approved. So let me be clear – let me be clear. They now have them for production. They are not using it. It is their decision. These are the facts.”

Many Republicans and Democrats in Congress have pushed for sanctions on Russian energy. But the White House is prepared for Republican criticism as the price of gas and other energy rises in the coming weeks.

“This crisis is a clear reminder: to protect our economy in the long term, we need to become energy independent,” he said, “that should prompt us to accelerate the transition to clean energy.”

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