Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Sunday that the US is speaking with its European allies about banning oil imports from Russia as a method to chop off a profitable income stream for President Vladimir Putin to fund his warfare in Ukraine.
“With regards to oil, Russian oil, I used to be on the cellphone yesterday with [President Biden} and different members of the Cupboard on precisely the topic, and we at the moment are speaking to our European companions and allies to look in a coordinated means on the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil whereas ensuring that there’s nonetheless an applicable provide of oil in world markets,” Blinken mentioned on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“That’s a really energetic dialogue as we communicate,” he mentioned.
The US and its Western allies have slapped a slew of sanctions on Russian banks, Putin and the oligarchs that make up his inside circle however have been reluctant to ban imports of Russian oil into the US as a result of it will ship already sky-high costs for gasoline hovering much more.
However barring Moscow from exporting its oil would deal a extreme blow to Russia, the world’s third biggest oil producer.
White Home press secretary Jen Psaki mentioned final Friday that the administration is “ choices amid strain from bipartisan lawmakers in Congress.
“We’re choices we may take proper now to chop US consumption of Russian vitality, however we’re very centered on minimizing the affect to households. Should you cut back provide within the international market, you will elevate gasoline costs,” she instructed reporters on the every day briefing.
“You’re going to boost the worth of oil and that’s one thing the president may be very aware of and centered on,” she mentioned.
Sens. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, and Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, launched the Banning Russian Imports Act final week.
The laws “would declare a nationwide emergency with respect to Russian aggression and instantly prohibit the importation of Russian vitality merchandise,” mentioned Manchin, chairman of the Senate Vitality and Pure Assets Committee, in a statement.
Manchin, who was among the many members of Congress who took half within the Zoom name with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday, mentioned chopping off Russian oil imports would punish Putin for his invasion.
He mentioned his Mountain State constituents know ”it’s principally silly for us to maintain shopping for merchandise and giving revenue, giving cash, to Putin to have the ability to use in opposition to Ukrainian individuals.”
The senator mentioned gasoline costs are already nearing $4 a gallon, and, “It wasn’t due to this.
“Inflation has already wreaked havoc on it now, and principally we’re going to say we’re going to sit again now as a result of we’re afraid it would go up somewhat bit extra — it would go up anyway. We have now performed nothing. I’m keen to at least do one thing,” he mentioned on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”
He added that the US can ramp up home vitality manufacturing and transfer to cleaner gasoline applied sciences on the identical time.
The US imported roughly 20.4 million barrels of crude oil and refined petroleum merchandise on common every month in 2021, based on the Energy Information Administration, amounting to about 8 % of US gasoline imports.