The US will ban Russian seafood, diamonds, and vodka to punish Putin, Biden says
- Biden announced the US would ban imports of Russian seafood, vodka, and diamonds.
- "Putin is the aggressor and Putin must pay a price," Biden said from the White House.
"Putin is the aggressor and Putin must pay a price," Biden said in brief remarks from the White House. He also said the US and the European Union would revoke Russia's trade privileges, a step many lawmakers in
"It will be another crushing blow to the Russian
It came less than a week after Biden took unilateral action to ban all Russian energy imports, including oil and natural gas. The US relies little on Russia for its energy needs. The country was the US's 26th-largest trading partner in 2019, according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. Two-way trade totaled only $35 billion in 2019.
The Russian economy is under increasing strain from a bevy of Western sanctions cutting it off from foreign currency reserves, paired with an accelerating exodus of US and European companies from Russia. Sanctions have also targeted top Russian government officials and other elites with close ties to Putin, freezing their assets or having them seized outright. The Russian ruble has shed over half its value since the Kremlin invaded Ukraine three weeks ago.
The latest US and European sanctions also ban the export of luxury goods to Russia, including watches, cars, and high-end alcohol. The White House estimated those exports amounted to $550 million a year. The new penalties also open the door for the US to impose new tariffs on Russian goods.
Suspending normal trade relations would treat Russia like an international outcast alongside Cuba and North Korea. But Biden can't act unilaterally, and Congress must approve legislation to modify trade relations.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised Biden's announcement and said in a statement that the House would attempt to take up a bill as soon as next week.
There had been growing bipartisan calls to suspend normal trade relations with Moscow and further isolate it from the global economy. Russia has intensified its military campaign, with more shelling of civilian targets and new attacks in western Ukraine.
- Overnight funds witness inflows in July after a one-month pause: AMFI
- 200 major glaciers disappeared in Italy due to climate change, the country's environmental lobby group reported
- Web3 is at an inflection point where online assets will start staying online: Survey
- India needs to quadruple climate finance to meet the Paris Agreement: Study
- Disney+Hotstar adds 8.3 mn subscribers, hits 58.4 mn users