The Americans are increasingly considering extending the sanctions against Russia to the energy sector. “I spoke to the president and the cabinet about it,” explained Sunday, March 6, on NBC, the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken. “We are currently in very active discussions with our European partners on banning the import of Russian oil into our countries while, of course, maintaining a stable global oil supply,” he said, noting that “The measures we have taken so far have already had a devastating impact on the Russian economy. We see the ruble in free fall. We see the economy heading into a deep recession. We have already had a major impact.” After these declarations, the price of a barrel of Brent came close to 140 dollars, an increase of nearly 20% since Friday.
The pressure has been building all week in Congress. Republican Senator for Alaska, an oil state, Lisa Murkowski, said she was in favor of the ban on Thursday: ” This is going to hurt. But we all have to recognize that Europe is in the middle of a war with Russia now. Innocent people are dying, children are dying. » The senator is teaming up with Democratic Senator from the coal-mining state of West Virginia, Joe Manchin, to push the ban through Congress. “The United States cannot continue to buy more than half a million barrels of oil a day because by doing so we are encouraging Putin to continue using his greatest weapon of war – energy exports” , charged Mr. Manchin.
A political turn
The “speaker” of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, agreed to this proposal: “I totally agree, ban it. Ban oil from Russia. » While specifying that she did not want a rise in the price of gasoline at the pump, an ultra-sensitive subject with the approach of the mid-term elections. This is why the White House remained very reluctant at the start of the conflict. “We have no strategic interest in reducing global energy supply. It would increase pump prices for Americans and increase Putin’s profits.” explained Wednesday one of Mr. Biden’s spokespersons, Karine Jean-Pierre. “Nothing is excluded”, decreed the President of the United States.
The case takes a political turn, the Republicans accusing Joe Biden of having penalized the extraction of hydrocarbons at the start of his mandate, by pronouncing a moratorium on new drilling on federal lands. “President Biden must stop funding Putin’s war with Russian oil because he turned off the taps of American energy”accused the republican representative of Louisiana Steve Scalise.
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