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: Biden bans Russian oil imports over Ukraine invasion as he warns gasoline prices will rise further

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports, as he seeks to ratchet up pressure on Moscow in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” Biden said in remarks from the White House. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war machine,” he said.

The president also warned that U.S. consumers would feel the effect in the form of a further increase in gasoline
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prices. “The decision today is not without cost here at home,” Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky has pleaded with U.S. and Western officials to cut off the imports, as the Associated Press reported. Oil had been a glaring omission the massive sanctions put in place on Russia over the invasion.

The ban will include Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal.

Barron’s: The U.S. will ban imports of Russian oil. What exactly does that mean?

The executive order Biden will sign also bans new U.S. investment in Russia’s energy sector,and prohibits Americans from financing foreign companies that invest to produce energy in Russia, according to the White House.  

Biden said the U.S. is working with its European partners on a strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy. “We can take this step when others cannot,” he said.

The U.S. imported over half a million barrels per day of Russian crude and petroleum products last year, amounting to about 7% of total U.S. imports, according to Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the Americas at data firm Kpler.

Read: As U.S. lawmakers push to ban Russian oil, analyst sees ‘limited impact’ on prices for Americans

“A ban on Russian crude and product imports would have a limited impact on prices, given flows of Russian energy to the U.S. are small in terms of total deliveries, and alternative sources could be found,” Smith recently told MarketWatch.

Oil futures
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rose Tuesday, building on the highest finish for the U.S. benchmark since 2008.

Now see: Futures Movers.

U.S. lawmakers have also been pushing for a ban on Russian energy imports. As MarketWatch reported, Washington’s efforts to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine ramped up Monday, as a bipartisan group of lawmakers announced an agreement on a “legislative path forward to ban the import of energy products from Russia and to suspend normal trade relations with both Russia and Belarus.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats that the House will still proceed with a bill banning oil imports. The legislation will also review Russia’s access to the World Trade Organization “and explore how we can further diminish Russia in the global economy,” she told colleagues in a letter.

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