The United States president, Joe Biden, announced he is banning Russian oil imports to hold Russia accountable for the war in Ukraine.
The move follows pleas by Ukrainian President Zelensky to U.S. and western officials to cut off the imports.
This is because energy exports have kept a steady influx of cash flowing to Russia despite otherwise severe restrictions on its financial sector.
President Biden spoke about this decision on Tuesday Afternoon in Washington DC.
“This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be a cost as well here in the United States,” the President said.
“I said from the beginning that I would be honest with the American people, and when I first talked about it, I said, “Defending freedom is going to cost, and it’s going to cost us in the United States as well.” Today, Shell apologized for buying a heavily discounted consignment of Russian oil on Friday and announced that it was withdrawing from all Russian hydrocarbons,” added.
Read the full transcript of Joe Biden Speech on Russia oil importation ban.
“The American people will deliver another crushing blow to Putin’s war machine. is a move that has strong bipartisan support for Congress and I believe in the country.
Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and have made it clear that we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.
We made this decision in close consultation with our allies and our partners around the world, particularly in Europe, because a united response to Putin’s aggression has been my overriding focus to keep all of NATO, all of the EU, and our allies totally united.
We’re moving forward with this ban with the understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us.
We produce far more oil domestically than all of Europe and all of the European countries combined.
In fact, we’re a net exporter of energy, so we can take this step when others cannot. But we’re working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well.
Our teams are actively discussing how to make this happen. Today, we remain united, reigning united in our determination to keep the pressure on Putin and his war machine.This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be a cost as well here in the United States.
I said I would level with the American people from the beginning, and when I first spoke of this, I said, “Defending freedom is going to cost. It’s going to cost us as well in the United States. ” Republicans and Democrats have been clear that we must do this over the last week, and I’ve spoken with President Zelensky several times to hear from him about the situation on the ground, as well as to consult and continue to consult with our European allies about US support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
So far, we’ve provided more than one billion dollars in security assistance to Ukraine. Shipments of defensive weapons are arriving every day from the United States, and we, the United States, are the ones coordinating the delivery of our allies’ and partners’ similar weapons from Germany to Finland to the Netherlands.
We’re working that out. We’re also providing humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people, both those still in Ukraine and those who have fled safely to a neighboring country.
We’re working with humanitarian organizations to surge tens of thousands of tons of food, water, and medical supplies into Ukraine, and with more on the way over the weekend, I sent Secretary Blinken to visit our border between Poland, Ukraine, and Moldova, to see what the situation was firsthand and report back. Our defense department is also in Europe, meeting with counterparts and allies on NATO’s eastern flank to reassure them that we will honor our NATO commitment.This article is based on article 5.
Vice President Harris is going to be traveling to meet with our allies in Poland and Romania later this week as well. I’ve made it clear that the United States will share in the responsibility of caring for the refugees, so the costs do not fall entirely on the European country’s border with Ukraine.
Yesterday, I spoke with my counterparts in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. While Russia is escalating violence against Ukraine, the steps that we’re going to take together with our allies and partners around the world to respond to this aggression are significant damage to the Russian economy.
It has caused the Russian economy to struggle against a sharp crater.Furthermore, we are restricting Russia’s access to technology such as semiconductors, which will sap its economic strength and weaken its military for years to come.
Major corporations are pulling out of Russia entirely without even asking us over the weekend. MasterCard, American Express, and Visa have all suspended their services in Russia. All of them join a growing list of American and global companies, from Ford to Nike to Apple.
They’ve suspended their operations in Russia. The U.S. stock exchange has halted trading of many Russian securities, and the private sector is united against Russia’s vicious war of choice.
The U.S. department of justice has assembled a dedicated task force to go after Russians for the crimes of Russian oligarchs, and we’re joining with our European allies to find and seize their yachts, their luxury apartments, their private jets, and all their ill-begotten gains to make sure that they share in the pain of Putin’s war. These, by the way, are giant yachts that span the globe in less than 24 hours. I mean, some of them are over 400 feet long.
I think I read that one was over 400 feet long. I mean, this is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The decision today is not without cost here at home. Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump. Since then, the price of gas at the pump in America has gone up 75 cents, and with this action, it’s going to go up even more.
I understand that Putin’s war against the people of Ukraine is causing prices to rise. We get that that’s self-evident, but it’s no excuse to exercise excessive price increases, pad profits, or any kind of effort to exploit this situation for American or American consumers. Russia’s aggression is costing us all, and it’s no time for profiteering or price gouging.
I want to be clear about what I will not tolerate, but I also want to acknowledge those firms and oil and gas industries that are pulling out of Russia and joining other businesses that are leading by example. This is a time when we have to do our part and make sure we’re not taking advantage. Let me be clear about two other points. First, even in the midst of the pandemic, it is simply not true that my administration or policies are stifling domestic energy production.
In companies in the United States, we pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessors’ first years, and we are approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States. We are on track to set a record level of oil production in the United States next year.
Onshore oil production occurs on land that is not owned by the federal government, and of the remaining 10% that occurs on federal land, the oil and gas industry has leased millions of acres. They have nine thousand permits to drill. They could be drilling right now. Last week last year, they had nine thousand wells to drill on shore that were already approved. So let me be clear. Let me be clear, they are not using them for production.
It’s just not tenable. It should motivate us to accelerate the transition to clean energy. This is a perspective our European allies share and a future where, together, we can achieve greater independence.
The Ukrainian people have literally inspired the world with their bravery, patriotism, and defiant determination to live free. Putin’s war has caused enormous suffering and needless loss of life among women and children in both Ukraine and, I might add, among Russian and Ukrainian leaders.
Putin, as well as leaders around the world, has repeatedly called for a ceasefire for humanitarian relief and real diplomacy, but Putin seems determined to continue on his murderous path no matter the cost. Putin’s now targeting cities and has been targeting cities and civilians’ schools, hospitals, and apartment buildings.
Last week, he attacked the largest nuclear power plant in Europe with an apparent disregard for the potential to trigger a nuclear meltdown. He has already turned two million Ukrainians into refugees. Russia may continue to grind out its advance at a horrible price, but this much is already clear. Putin will never be victorious in Ukraine if we do not intervene.
If we do not respond to Putin’s assault on global peace and stability today, the cost of freedom and the American people will be even greater tomorrow. So we’re going to continue to support the brave Ukrainian people as they fight for their country.
I call on Congress to pass the 12 billion euro assistance package that I have asked for of late. The Ukrainian people are demonstrating through their physical courage that they are not about to just let Putin take what he wants. It’s clear that they’ll defend their freedom, their democracy, and their lives, and we’re going to keep providing security assistance.
We will support them in their fight against tyranny, oppression, and violent acts of subjugation of people everywhere, and I think it’s perhaps even surprising that some of you, people everywhere, are speaking up for freedom when the history of this war is written.
Putin’s war on Ukraine will have left Russia weaker and the rest of the world stronger. God bless all those heroes in Ukraine, and now I’m off to Texas. I know there are a lot of questions, but there’s a lot more that has to be made clear, and I’m going to hold on to that until we get more information. Thank you. I appreciate it.”