In Major Escalation, Biden to Ban Imports of Russian Oil

The move is one of Biden’s toughest actions against Vladimir Putin as his brutal invasion of Ukraine stretches on.

Patrick Semansky/AP

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President Joe Biden is set to announce a ban on US imports of Russian oil, several news outlets reported Tuesday morning. The move comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its thirteenth day and Western nations continue to look for ways to pressure Russian leader Vladimir Putin economically. 

Since Putin first ordered the invasion, the United States and its European allies have sanctioned various Russian oligarchs, including Putin personally, while significantly limiting Russia’s access to international banks. The accumulated measures have made Russia the most sanctioned country in the world, but have failed to halt Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine. 

A ban on importing Russian oil marks one of Biden’s toughest responses by during the crisis, especially as gas prices in the United States have increased. Unlike Europe, the US only imports a small amount of its oil from Russia—roughly 7.9 percent, per the Wall Street Journal, though the figure has increased sharply since the end of the Cold War. 

The Biden administration has already made use of emergency fuel reserves and has even resorted to negotiating with heavily-sanctioned adversaries like Iran and Venezuela to acquire more oil. Among the other options being considered by the White House, according to the Washington Post:

…the massive scaling up of production of “heat pumps” for Europe, an additional release of U.S. oil reserves, and a gas tax holiday to protect American consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Biden is expected to announce this decision later today. We’ll update this post with his remarks and details of the ban.

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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