The president of the United States, Joe Biden, did not rule out this Wednesday vetoing US imports of Russian oil, and accused Russia of deliberately targeting areas where civilians reside in Ukraine.
“Nothing is off the table”Biden said in response to a reporter’s question about the possibility of banning Russian crude imports, before leaving the White House for Wisconsin.
Just 7% of US imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products came from Russia in 2020according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The United States gets most of its oil from Canada and Mexico, and also imports smaller amounts from Saudi Arabia, Colombia or Iraq, according to the EIA.
Nevertheless, oil prices have already risen in the US due to the refusal of some refiners to buy crude from Russia fearing US sanctions, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The White House has promised to minimize the impact of its restrictions on Moscow on global energy markets and on the pocketbooks of American consumers, but does not rule out imposing sanctions on Russian oil and gasaccording to Biden spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“We are considering it. It is on the table, but we have to take into account what the impact would bePsaki said Wednesday in an interview with MSNBC.
In his statements to the press, Biden also responded with a “it’s clear they do” to the question whether Russia is deliberately attacking areas of Ukraine where there is a large civilian population.
Nevertheless, assured that it is “early to say” if Russia is committing war crimes.
Asked if the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, should leave the country, he stated: “I think it’s a decision for him to make, and we’re doing everything we can to help him.”.
He added, with traces of ashes on his forehead, that the Cardinal of Washington, Wilton Gregory, had visited him today on the occasion of Ash Wednesday and that both had “prayed for the people of Ukraine”.