The United States on Tuesday barred the importation of oil and gas from Russia, an action President Joe Biden described as a move to pressurize Vladimir Putin to completely end its war in Ukraine
According to 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.”
The American president said although they are taking this step to inflict further pain on Putin, “there will be costs as well here in the United States.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Biden for “striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine” by imposing the ban. “Encourage other countries and leaders to follow,” Zelenskyy tweeted on Tuesday.
But Europe has a larger dependence on Russian energy supplies, with about 35 per cent of natural gas in the European Union coming from Russia.
For two weeks, Russia’s war on Ukraine has been met with outrage from the international community, with the EU, UK, and U.S., among others, imposing a range of economic sanctions on Moscow.
Hundreds have been killed in Ukraine since Russia launched its war on February 24, according to United Nations figures, with the real toll, feared to be significantly higher.
On Wednesday, Russia announced a humanitarian ceasefire in Ukraine to allow the evacuation of civilians from five cities.
Ukrainian officials say civilians are being evacuated from the besieged areas of Irpin, near the capital, Kyiv, and northeastern Sumy.