The administration of President Joe Biden is willing to go ahead with a ban on Russian oil imports to the United States even without the involvement of its allies in Europe, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
President Joe Biden is expected to hold a video conference with the leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Monday as his government continues to seek their support for the import ban.
The White House is also negotiating with congressional leaders who are working on a fast-track bill banning Russian imports, a move that is forcing the administration to work on an accelerated deadline, a source told Reuters.
A senior US official told Reuters that no final decision has been made, but that “it is likely that only the United States will do it.”
Oil prices have soared to their highest levels since 2008 due to delays in the possible return of Iranian crude to world markets and as the United States and European allies consider banning Russian imports.
Europe depends on Russia for crude oil and natural gas, but has been open to the idea of banning Russian products.
The United States is much less dependent on Russian crude and products, but a ban would help drive up prices and hurt American consumers, who are already seeing record prices at gas stations.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter on Sunday that her chamber is “exploring” legislation to ban the import of Russian oil and that Congress intends to enact US aid this week. US$10 billion for Ukraine in response to Moscow’s military invasion.
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