President Joe Biden has reportedly decided to ban Russian oil imports into the country.
After unveiling a set of 'severe sanctions' that the US and its allies would impose on Russia, the president is set to announce further plans to toughen the country's stance against the Kremlin amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
According to an inside source, the move is anticipated as being announced as soon as today, March 8.
The White House already stated that an announcement will take place this morning at 10.45am EST, during which Biden is set to reveal 'actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine,' AP News reports.
The ban on oil imports from Russia is so far only reportedly set to be enforced by the US and is expected to possibly include restrictions on coal and liquified natural gas, as per The Financial Times.
In order 'to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gap pump,' Biden previously expressed a reluctance to include energy cuts within the US' sanctions against the Kremlin.
Instead, he targeted four of Russia's major banks, as well as its largest bank, and added to 'the list of Russian elites and their family members' that the country would sanction as well.
Breaking: President Biden is expected to ban Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the US today, @cnn reporting. US will make the move unilaterally, without its European allies, due to disagreement among EU nations. Biden is expected to address the news at 10:45 a.m. ET.— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) March 8, 2022
In doing so, Biden said he hoped the sanctions would help 'cut off more than half of Russia's high-tech imports' and help restrain the Kremlin from being able to 'compete in a high-tech 21st century economy'.
A number of Russian banks were also banned from SWIFT after members of the European Union, the US, the UK and allies agreed to the move on February 26.
The US' allies in Europe have reportedly been consulted over its decision to ban oil imports.
Countries in Europe are more dependent on Russia for their energy, with one third of Europe's consumption of fossil fuels being reliant on the country's natural gas supplies.
So far, Belgium's green energy minister has stated the country is rethinking its plans surrounding its nuclear exit.
JUST IN: US will Ban #Russia’s Oil Imports, AP & Bloomberg reporting.— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) March 8, 2022
Prez Biden to speak at 10:45 ET. US imports of crude oil from Russia were 3% last year.
Tinne Van der Straeten reflected that Belgium needs to 'take [its] energy into [its] own hands again'.
Over a third of the US' government income was reportedly made from Russian oil and gas prior to the invasion of Ukraine, which began on Thursday, February 24.
The original set of sanctions unveiled by Biden were 'specifically designed to allow energy payments to continue' so to not disrupt the global energy markets and protect US citizens from rising petrol prices.
Biden's decision to ban oil imports from Russia has allegedly been met with wariness from US officials who reportedly think the move could jeopardise the country's ability to successfully confront Putin and resolve the ongoing fighting in Ukraine.
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