The United States is expanding on the existing economic measures that it imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. In mid-March, President Joe Biden announced that the United States will stop importing Russian fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based products.
Oil and gas represent 63 percent of Russia’s exports, generating around 40 percent of the country’s federal revenues. Coal represents Russia’s fifth largest source of revenue.
Thus, “the United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy,” said President Biden.
“ We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy. That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
On March 8, President Biden signed an executive order banning the importation of crude oil and certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal from Russia into the United States, thus depriving the Kremlin of billions of dollars in revenue.
The executive order also forbids new U.S. investment in Russia’s energy sector. This ensures that American companies and American investors are not financing Vladimir Putin’s efforts to expand energy production inside Russia. For the same reason, Americans are prohibited from financing or enabling foreign companies that invest in Russia’s energy production.
The United States did not act alone in making this decision, said President Biden.
“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 NATO and all of the EU and our allies totally united.”
“The United States produces far more oil domestically than all the European countries combined,” said President Biden. “So, we can take this step when others cannot.”
Last year, about 45 percent of all natural gas imported into the European Union came from Russia. On the same day President Biden announced a ban on imports of Russian fossil fuels, the EU announced its own plan to reduce its purchase of Russian gas by two-thirds before the end of the year.
“We’re working closely with Europe and our partners to develop a long-term strategy to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well,” said President Biden.
“Americans have rallied … to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”