Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 9, 2022
U.S. and U.K. ban Russian oil imports in huge escalation of sanctions
President Joe Biden said the U.S. will ban imports of Russian fossil fuels including oil, a major escalation of Western efforts to hobble Russia’s economy that will further strain global crude markets.
“The United States is targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy,” Biden said Tuesday in Washington. “We will not be part of subsidizing Putin’s war.”
The U.S. move will be matched in part by the U.K., which announced a ban on Russian oil imports on Tuesday, though it will continue to allow natural gas and coal from the country. Other European nations that rely more heavily on Russian fuels will not participate.
Russian oil made up about 3 per cent of all the crude shipments that arrived in the U.S. last year. When other petroleum products are included, such as unfinished fuel oil that can be used to produce gasoline and diesel, Russia accounted for about 8 per cent of 2021 oil imports, though those shipments have also trended lower in recent months.