UNITED States President Joe Biden has announced that his country is “targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy” by banning imports of Russian oil, the latest sanction intended to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.
“We will not be part of subsidising Putin’s war,” he said in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
Britain has also joined the United States in announcing a ban on imports of Russian oil.
Biden’s announcement came amid rising pressure from Democrats and Republicans, and it reflects a willingness to accept the political risk of rising gas prices to economically retaliate against Russia.
“Defending freedom is going to cost. It’s going to cost us as well in the United States,” Biden said.
Although Biden has tried to work in concert with European allies, he acknowledged that many are not announcing a similar ban because they’re more reliant on Moscow for oil and gas.
“So, we can take this step when others cannot,” he said. “But we’re working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well.”
Britain Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said oil and oil products from Russia will be phased out by the end of the year.
He said the transition period “will give the market, businesses and supply chains more than enough time to replace Russian imports,” which account for eight per cent of UK demand.