“Today I am announcing the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy. We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” the president said during a White House address. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
In his remarks, Biden acknowledged that the decision to ban Russian oil will likely increase already high gas prices.
“The decision today is not without cost here at home. Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump,” he said. “Since Putin began his military build-up at Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price of gas at the pump in America went up 75 cents and with this action, it’s going to go up further. I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home.”
Biden also warned companies against price-gouging during a time of international conflict.
“To the oil and gas companies and to the finance firms that back them: We understand Putin’s war against the people of Ukraine is causing prices to rise. We get that. That’s self-evident,” he said. “… But, it’s no excuse to exercise excessive price increases or padding profits or any kind of effort to exploit this situation or American consumers… Russia’s aggression is costing us all. And it’s no time for profiteering or price-gouging.”
Shortly after Biden’s announcement, the United Kingdom also said it would phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.
Later today, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill to ban Russian oil imports, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced. The bill will also “explore how we can further diminish Russia in the global economy.”
“The Congress commends the President for announcing action to stop the import of Russian energy products into the United States – which we will support by passing strong, bipartisan legislation to that effect today,” she wrote in a statement.