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Biden Announces Ban on Russian Oil, Gas & Energy Imports Over Ukraine Invasion

The development follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy advocating for the ban of Russian oil and gas.

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As Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its twelfth day, United States (US) President Joe Biden toughened the economic sanctions placed on Moscow and announced a ban on Russian oil imports on Tuesday, 8 March.

"We're banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin's war machine. This is a move that has strong bipartisan support."
Joe Biden

Ahead of the announcement, the price of the global oil benchmark, Brent crude, surged by over five percent to $129.92 per barrel at 1430 GMT (8 pm IST).

The development follows Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy advocating for the ban of Russian oil and gas in front of US lawmakers, and several US officials urging President Joe Biden to take a stricter stance against Russia.

Meanwhile, Britain indicated on Tuesday that it would phase out imports of Russian oil by the end of this year.

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Higher Gas Prices and Alternatives

This comes at a time when the US is already facing higher gas prices and inflation, while the prices at the petrol pump have increased around 11 percent since last week, to match the highest levels reached since July 2008, The Hindu reported.

Though the US imported nearly 8 percent of its total volume of crude and refined products from Russia last year, the new ban will have its effect, even if does not cause a major impact on prices in absolute terms.

The Biden administration has further engaged in discussions with Venezuela for its oil, and the government of Nicolas Maduro, an ally of Russia who was sanctioned and de-recognised by the Trump administration in 2019.

Moreover, the US has also committed to releasing 30 million barrels of crude from its strategic reserves.

Speaking on the expected increase in prices, US Senator Chris Coons, "We are going to see increased gas prices here in the United States. In Europe, they will see dramatic increases in prices. That's the cost of standing up for freedom and standing alongside the Ukrainian people, but it's going to cost us," CNN reported.

Moscow Resumes Onslaught Against Ukraine

On Tuesday, Moscow continued its onslaught against Ukraine, despite an agreement to set up humanitarian corridors in several Ukrainian cities and declaring partial ceasefire in cities of Sumy, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kyiv, and Chernihiv.

However, as per the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, the invading forces violated the temporary truce by shelling in Mariupol.

Russia Becomes Most Sanctioned Country

In light of the repercussions that followed after Russia announced its military operations against Ukraine on 24 February, Russia has now become the most sanctioned in the world, as per a New York-based sanctions watchlist site.

Castellum.AI stated that 2,754 sanctions were already in place against Russia before 22 February – when it recognised the independence of rebel regions of Donetsk and Luhansk – and 2,778 additional sanctions were imposed in the days following the assault, bringing the total to 5,532.

(With inputs from The Hindu and CNN.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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