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Biden wants to ban Russian energy imports after bipartisan pressure

President Biden is set to announce a ban on Russian energy imports on Tuesday after a bipartisan coalition in Congress threatened to force him to punish him Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Biden was scheduled to formally announce the restrictions in a 10:45 a.m. address from the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

It would be the third time Biden has defied a series of sanctions in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion – only to have them passed in response to bipartisan pressure.

speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) approved legislation banning oil imports last week driven by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WVa.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — far from ensuring it had enough support to sail through Congress.

On Monday, leading Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate trade-oversight committees announced their own legislation that would both ban Russian energy imports and suspend normal trade with Moscow and its close ally Belarus.

Russian oil companies will face multiple import sanctions as the US seeks to hamper Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russian oil companies will face multiple import sanctions as the US seeks to hamper Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, file

Some Democrats were appalled that the restrictions were not introduced earlier as Russian military circled Ukraine’s capital and largest city, Kyiv, amid reports of significant civilian casualties in the battle for the country’s second-largest city, Kharkiv.

“It’s so obvious we need to cut it. I wonder if there’s a reason we didn’t [and] What the hell is the reason? “Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said NBC News last week.

The US imported about 200,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia in 2021, about 3 percent of its total revenue, the agency said American fuel and petrochemical manufacturers. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a news conference Thursday that Russia accounts for “only about 10 percent of our imports.”

After weeks of pressure, President Biden has officially announced sanctions against Russian oil imports.
After weeks of pressure, President Biden has officially announced sanctions against Russian oil imports.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
The White House opposed the Russian power shutdown, saying it could cause US gasoline prices to spike.
The White House opposed the Russian power shutdown, saying it could cause US gasoline prices to spike.
REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/File Photo

As late as Monday afternoon, Psaki told White House reporters that “at this point, no decision on an import ban has been made by the President.”

NATO allies in Europe have not announced their own bans on Russian oil and natural gas, which account for a much larger share of their domestic energy use. Much of Europe’s fuel supply crosses Ukraine’s pipelines.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted on Monday that “Europe’s energy supply for heat generation, mobility, electricity supply and industry cannot be secured in any other way” than with Russian fuel.

The White House had resisted cutting off Russia’s energy sources, noting that it could lead to a rise in US gasoline prices, which in turn would exacerbate already surging inflation at a 40-year high.

“A reduction in global oil supply would affect the price of barrels of oil and ultimately gas prices,” Psaki said on Friday.

Some Democrats were appalled that the restrictions were not put in place earlier, when the Russian military was encircling Ukraine's capital and largest city, Kyiv.
Some Democrats were appalled that the restrictions were not put in place earlier, when the Russian military was encircling Ukraine’s capital and largest city, Kyiv
AP Photo/Matthew Brown, file
The sanctions legislation was introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
The sanctions legislation was introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
Rod Lamkey—CNP/MEGA
The new sanctions come as several Russian oligarchs and even Russian President Vladimir Putin face sanctions of their own.
The new sanctions come as several Russian oligarchs and even Russian President Vladimir Putin face sanctions of their own.
Sputnik, Kremlin pool photo via AP

Biden first limited sanctions announced against Russian state-owned banks and certain Russian businessmen as tanks rolled across Ukraine’s borders on February 24. After criticism, Biden endorsed Putin’s vast personal wealth and reached an agreement with US allies to decouple Russia from the international SWIFT banking system.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/08/biden-set-to-ban-russian-energy-imports-after-bipartisan-pressure/ Biden wants to ban Russian energy imports after bipartisan pressure

JACLYN DIAZ

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