In a statement U.S. President Joe Biden said, the United States would ban the import of Russian crude oil as well as other energy imports in retaliation to its invasion of Ukraine.
“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy,” said Biden at the White House. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable in U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine.”
Following the news, oil prices jumped with Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 for May climbing by 5.4% to $129.91 a barrel by 1345 GMT.
Shortly after the announcement Britain said, it would phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.
In 2021, the United States had imported more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined products a month on average from Russia, according to the Energy Information Administration. The ban is expected to send already high gasoline prices further up and fuel inflation.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons said the administration was coordinating with European allies “and making sure that we’ve done the groundwork to understand how to effectively implement a ban on Russian energy.”
“We are going to see increased gas prices here in the United States. In Europe, they will see dramatic increases in prices. That’s the cost of standing up for freedom and standing alongside the Ukrainian people, but it’s going to cost us,” said Coons.
U.S. Representative Susan Wild said Americans need to realize the larger sacrifice needed. “Obviously nobody wants to pay more for gas,” said Wild.
“The government will also work with companies through a new Taskforce on Oil to support them to make use of this period in finding alternative supplies,” said British Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.