Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)

US Official After Oil Ban: Russia Now Global Economic, Financial Pariah

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)

Russia has become a global economic and financial pariah, said a US senior administration official after President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the US.

Earlier on Tuesday (local time), Biden announced a ban on the US import of Russian energy in a bid to ramp up sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine.

America is united in its resolve to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said a senior US administration official, adding that “there’s broad support across the country for degrading the strength of Putin’s economy and war machine through curb on energy exports”.

The official said that the ban will further deprive Putin of the economic resources to fund his “needless war of choice”.

Explaining the mechanics of the ban, the official said that the move blocks any new purchases of Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal, and winds down the deliveries of existing purchases that have already been contracted for.

“It also bans new US investment in Russia’s energy sector, which will ensure that American companies and investors are not underwriting Putin’s efforts to expand Russian energy production,” he added.

The official further informed that the Americans will also be prohibited from participating in foreign investments in the Russian energy sector.

The official clarified that the US does not expect its European allies to join the ban since they don’t have strong domestic energy production and infrastructure, unlike the US.

“Russian oil was just under 10 per cent of our overall imports of oil but accounts for a third of Europe’s imports. As of last year, Europe imports more than six times more oil from Russia than we do — about four and a half million barrels for Europe versus seven hundred thousand barrels for the US per day,” he added.

Speaking on the domestic impact of the Ukraine crisis, the official said, “Putin’s unprovoked and brutal war has led to higher energy prices and raised costs for Americans at home — about 75 cents at the gas pump — since Putin began to amass troops at the Ukrainian border in early November.”

In response to this, the US will continue to mitigate the effect of the crisis and reduce dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, said the official.

The official further said that this announcement builds on unprecedented economic costs the US and its allies and partners have imposed on Russia.

Enumerating the various economic sanctions imposed against Russia, the official said that Russia has become a global economic and financial pariah. “Over 30 counties, representing well over half the world’s economy, have announced immediate sanctions, with debilitating economic costs on Russia, cutting off its access to high technology, stunting growth and weakening its military for years to come,” he added. (ANI)

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