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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The U.S. government urges people to vote in the midterm elections. In a statement issued on Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the United States and its European allies are considering a ban on Russian oil imports. The White House is working with critical Congressional committees to complete their restriction.
Europe depends on Russia for crude oil and natural gas. Still, a person involved with the conversations said on Sunday that the European Union has grown more receptive to the concept of banning Russian goods in the last 24 hours. As well, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated in a Sunday letter that the chamber is “exploring” legislation to prohibit the import of Russian oil, as well as that Congress intends to pass legislation this week to provide $10 billion in assistance to Ukraine in response to Moscow’s military invasion of its neighbor. Click here to find out more.
According to the source, the White House is also in discussions with members of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee about a prospective prohibition.
Blinken, on the other hand, emphasized the significance of maintaining a stable oil supply across the world. “We are now engaged in very active conversations with our European allies about prohibiting the import of Russian oil into our nations while, at the same time, ensuring a stable global supply of oil,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
As part of his European tour to coordinate with allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Blinken said he met with President Joe Biden and his cabinet on Saturday to discuss oil imports. Blinken is currently traveling across Europe to coordinate with allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
According to a story published on Monday by Kyodo News, Japan, which counts Russia as its fifth-largest crude oil supplier, talks with the United States and European nations about potentially prohibiting Russian oil imports.
Japanese government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno refused to comment on the possibility of a Russian oil embargo at a regular press conference on Monday when asked about the country’s interactions with Washington. Oil prices have risen dramatically in recent weeks due to sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies against Russia in response to the invasion.
On Thursday, a bipartisan group of United States senators presented legislation to prohibit the importation of Russian oil into the United States. The bill is being moved forward rapidly and might eventually serve as the vehicle for the penalties. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House imposed restrictions on transferring technology to Russian refineries and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has yet to be completed or operational. So far, the Biden administration has refrained from targeting Russia’s oil and gas exports. At the same time, it considers the implications of such a move on global oil markets and domestic energy costs.
Answering the question of whether the United States has ruled out taking unilateral action against Russia, Blinken said: “I’m not going to rule out taking action one way or another, regardless of what they do, but the strategy begins with cooperating with friends and partners.”
Mr. Pompeo stated that the United States was considering several additional measures to increase pressure on Russia. Still, he did not provide any specifics on what those other measures would be. Because of the large number of cars on the road, long driving distances, and a lack of public transportation in many areas, Americans are by far the world’s largest consumers of gasoline. Historically, rising gas costs have been a political poison for presidents in the United States.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States reached $4.009 on Sunday, the highest level since July 2008. Compared to the previous week, consumers are paying an average of 40 cents more per month and 57 cents more per month. According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States purchased more than 20.4 million barrels of crude and refined products a month on average in 2021 from Russia, accounting for about 8% of total U.S. liquid fuel imports in that year (EIA).