In Major Escalation, Biden to Ban Imports of Russian Oil

The move is one of Biden’s toughest actions against Vladimir Putin as his brutal invasion of Ukraine stretches on.

Patrick Semansky/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

President Joe Biden is set to announce a ban on US imports of Russian oil, several news outlets reported Tuesday morning. The move comes as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its thirteenth day and Western nations continue to look for ways to pressure Russian leader Vladimir Putin economically. 

Since Putin first ordered the invasion, the United States and its European allies have sanctioned various Russian oligarchs, including Putin personally, while significantly limiting Russia’s access to international banks. The accumulated measures have made Russia the most sanctioned country in the world, but have failed to halt Putin’s brutal attack on Ukraine. 

A ban on importing Russian oil marks one of Biden’s toughest responses by during the crisis, especially as gas prices in the United States have increased. Unlike Europe, the US only imports a small amount of its oil from Russia—roughly 7.9 percent, per the Wall Street Journal, though the figure has increased sharply since the end of the Cold War. 

The Biden administration has already made use of emergency fuel reserves and has even resorted to negotiating with heavily-sanctioned adversaries like Iran and Venezuela to acquire more oil. Among the other options being considered by the White House, according to the Washington Post:

…the massive scaling up of production of “heat pumps” for Europe, an additional release of U.S. oil reserves, and a gas tax holiday to protect American consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Biden is expected to announce this decision later today. We’ll update this post with his remarks and details of the ban.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate