WASHINGTON, DC — President Joe Biden wants the U.S. and other countries to reduce their consumption of oil and gas in order to “punish” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, Biden also does not want an outright ban of Russian oil and gas, despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans to do so.
Tomorrow I will introduce legislation in the Senate to reopen American energy production full throttle and reverse Joe Biden’s disastrous capitulation to our enemies https://t.co/xEBG5fabzf
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) February 28, 2022
Breitbart News reported that several senators and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want a ban on Russian energy import:
“There is growing support from Congress in a ban on oil imports from Russia.
“Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Jon Tester (D-MT) announced legislation on Thursday that would ban Russian energy imports.
“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also endorsed the idea during her press conference on Thursday.
‘‘I’m all for that — ban it,’ she said. ‘Ban the oil coming from Russia.’”
The same report also noted that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden and his administration were not interested in banning imports of oil from Russia because reducing the supply would only increase prices and enrich the Russians.
BREAKING: Jen Psaki just said that we need to reduce our reliance on foreign oil, but doesn’t want to increase American gas and oil production pic.twitter.com/QNXx2drbMy
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 27, 2022
Psaki lectured reporters at her daily briefing, reminding everyone that Europe and the U.S. simply need to reduce their consumption of oil:
“What this is all a reminder of in the president’s view is our need to reduce our reliance on oil. The Europeans need to do that. We need to do that.”
When asked about how much Russian oil is imported, Psaki tried to downplay the amount, even though Breitbart News reported that imports of crude oil to the U.S. have doubled from a year ago.
Reporter to Psaki: "As long as we're buying Russian oil … aren't we financing the war?" pic.twitter.com/3sbKRRIfNk
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) March 3, 2022
“It’s only about ten percent of what we’re importing.”
She also said the White House was looking for actions that maximize the impact on President Putin, but minimize it for the American people.
Psaki ROASTED by Reporter Over Her ABSURD Claim on Russian Oil pic.twitter.com/V18atn6jVj
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 4, 2022
Psaki pointed out that there is no “strategic interest” in the reduction of Russian oil and gas:
“We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy.”
Jen Psaki claimed we have no "strategic interest" in banning Russian oil imports.
American energy independence is in our nation's strategic interest.
— Lance Gooden (@Lancegooden) March 4, 2022
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday mimicked the same line of thinking during an interview with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.
During the interview, Blinken said the U.S. is “looking” at banning Russian oil nearly two weeks after Putin invaded Ukraine.
Blinken suggested to Todd that the U.S. would not unilaterally make a decision to ban Russian oil. He told Todd:
“We are looking, uh, again as we speak, in coordination with allies and partners, at this prospect of banning [Russian] oil imports.”
Secretary of State Blinken Suggests US Won’t Ban Russian Oil without Permission From European Countries (VIDEO) https://t.co/8yX3qXhVku
— 1BUV Global News Top Stories (@1BuvNews) March 6, 2022
When Todd pushed back and asked if a unilateral decision would be made by the U.S. to ban Russian oil and gas, Blinken responded vaguely, using the terms coordination and coordinating four times:
“A hallmark of everything we’ve done to date has been this coordination with allies and partners.
“We are much more effective across the board when we’re doing things together, uh, in as close to coordination as possible.
“There are instances where, uh, we each do something a little bit different, but it complements, uh, the whole.
“So, in the first instance, uh, we want to make sure that we’re acting in coordination.
“I’m not going to rule out taking action one way or another, uh, irrespective of what they do, but everything we’ve done — the approach starts with coordinating with allies and partners.”
Despite no ban on Russian oil and gas, the Biden administration and European governments are trying to impose sanctions on Russia to force it to end its attack against Ukraine.
So far, sanctions against Russia appear to be hurting innocent civilians instead of the Russian government.
New York Times reported:
“The harsh penalties — which have hammered the ruble, shut down Russia’s stock market and prompted bank runs — contradict previous declarations by U.S. officials that they would refrain from inflicting pain on ordinary Russians.
“‘We target them carefully to avoid even the appearance of targeting the average Russian civilian,’ Daleep Singh, the deputy national security adviser for international economics, said at a White House briefing last month.
“The escalation in sanctions this week has occurred much faster than many officials had anticipated, largely because European leaders have embraced the most aggressive measures proposed by Washington, U.S. officials said.
“The Biden administration said on Thursday that it would not offer sanctions relief amid Mr. Putin’s increasingly brutal offensive.”
The goal is to instigate anger amongst Russians and to foment street protests, New York Times reported:
“The thinking among some U.S. and European officials is that Mr. Putin might stop the war if enough streets and enough tycoons turn on him.
“Other U.S. officials emphasize the goals of punishment and future deterrence, saying that the carcass of the Russian economy will serve as a visible consequence of Mr. Putin’s actions and a warning for other aggressors.”
The Ukrainian leader advocated for banning Russian oil imports and suspending all commercial transactions, like Visa and Mastercard, a senator on the call told CNN.https://t.co/XhBvUmGDYO
— CNN (@CNN) March 5, 2022
New York Times further reported:
“But Russia’s $1.5 trillion economy is the world’s 11th largest. No countries have tried pushing an economy of that size to the brink of collapse, with unknown consequences for the world.
“And the actions of the United States and Europe could pave the way for a new type of great-power conflict in the future.
“The moves have also ignited questions in Washington and in European capitals over whether cascading events in Russia could lead to ‘regime change,’ or rulership collapse, which President Biden and European leaders are careful to avoid mentioning.
“‘This isn’t the Russian people’s war,’ Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said in a news conference on Wednesday. But, he added, ‘the Russian people will suffer the consequences of their leaders’ choices.’
“‘The economic costs that we’ve been forced to impose on Russia are not aimed at you,’ he said. ‘They are aimed at compelling your government to stop its actions, to stop its aggression.’”
The sanctions are affecting the poorest to the richest. New York Times reported:
“The harshest sanctions by far are ones that prevent the Central Bank of Russia from tapping into much of its $643 billion in foreign currency reserves, which has led to a steep drop in the value of the ruble.
“Panic has set in across Russia. Citizens are scrambling to withdraw money from banks, preferably in dollars, and some are fleeing the country.
“The United States and Europe also announced new sanctions this week against oligarchs with close ties to Mr. Putin.
“Officials are moving to seize their houses, yachts and private jets around the world.
“French officials on Thursday snatched the superyacht of Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant.”
Earlier this week, global payment processors, such as PayPal, American Express, Visa and Mastercard, shut down their services in Russia after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on companies to halt all business in Russia during a video call with U.S. lawmakers.
This is such a shallow move and speaks volumes about how western companies are using the war tragedy more for PR stunts than actually thinking through the consequences of these changes.
This hurts more the Russian populace than the government that I'm fairly sure hardly uses PP.
— Eroth9 (@X4vi0uR) March 5, 2022
The fallout from companies suspending their services in Russia is that Russian citizens are now being financially impacted as they are expelled from the Western financial system.
Two of the biggest payment processing firms in the world announced they were suspending operations in #Russia.#Mastercard and #Visa said Russian banks would be cut off from their networks and their cards would not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.https://t.co/bdUOub8z9H
— NTD News (@news_ntd) March 6, 2022
The move has caused Russia to get closer to China, which has drawn mixed reviews.
Russian Banks Switch To Chinese Card System As AmEx Joins Visa & MasterCard In Suspending Russian Operations https://t.co/rft5YerQej
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 6, 2022
“Reuters has confirmed this development, writing that ‘several Russian banks said on Sunday they would soon start issuing cards using the Chinese UnionPay card operator’s system coupled with Russia’s own Mir network, after Visa and MasterCard said they were suspending operations in Russia.’
“State-owned UnionPay is the provider of most card payments in China.
Guess what? After VISA and Mastercard pulled out of Russia, Russian banks will now start issuing cards using China's UnionPay, linking them with MIR.
The West is shooting itself in the foot. It's not punishing Russia; it's bringing Eurasia and Global South closer together.
— Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) March 6, 2022
“Announcements regarding the switch to UnionPay came on Sunday from Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, as well as Alfa Bank and Tinkoff.
“As Bloomberg adds, the move could allow Russians to make some payments overseas, with UnionPay operating in 180 countries and regions.
“Visa and Mastercard said that any transactions initiated with their cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country from March 10.
“The Bank of Russia is also temporarily reducing the amount of information commercial banks are required to publish in an effort to limit the risks from international sanctions.
Whatever you think of Russia, you cannot deny that the world is actually not in agreement on Ukraine. I know corporate media want you to think that the West = the whole world, but that's clearly not what's going on. There's a global realignment happening.
— Richard Medhurst (@richimedhurst) March 6, 2022
“Starting with statements for February, banks will no longer have to release accounts prepared to national standards or make any additional disclosures on their websites, the central bank said in a statement.
“The central bank of Russia advised its citizens to use cash abroad.
“It said Mir cards could also be used in Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”
Russian Banks Rush to Switch to Chinese Card System.
Visa and Mastercard banning Russian customers from their network is just helping to accelerate the decline of the US Dollar.https://t.co/UpBt31msR2
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) March 6, 2022
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) recently appeared to suggest via his Twitter post on March 3 that Putin needs to be assassinated:
“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? The only way this ends is for somebody in Russia to take this guy out. You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.
“The only people who can fix this are the Russian people.
“Easy to say, hard to do.
“Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate.”
The only people who can fix this are the Russian people.
Easy to say, hard to do.
Unless you want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty, and live in darkness you need to step up to the plate.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 4, 2022
Graham also recently said on Fox News:
“The best way for this to end is having Eliot Ness or Wyatt Earp in Russia, the Russian Spring, so to speak, where people rise up and take him down.”
“So, I’m hoping somebody in Russia will understand that he’s destroying Russia, and you need to take this guy out by any means possible.”
Russia has helped MADURO weather US sanctions by continuing to facilitate the Venezuelan oil trade.
Now, with the US considering sanctions on Russian oil, there are increasing backchannel conversations about tapping Venezuelan oil as a substitute. https://t.co/LSu8eclb8M
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) March 5, 2022
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