WASHINGTON -- The U.S. and European allies are in discussions about banning imports Russian crude oil, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Sunday.
Blinken stated that he spoke with the President and the Cabinet leaders about the matter yesterday. "We are currently in very active discussions about banning the imports of Russian oil to our country while at the same time maintaining a steady supply of oil worldwide," Blinken said during NBC's "Meet the Press."
When asked if the U.S. would unilaterally ban Russian oil, Blinken replied to Chuck Todd that it was not possible. "A hallmark of all we've done so far has been this coordination avec allies and partners. We are more efficient across the board.
As lawmakers attempt to stop President Vladimir Putin’s bloody war against Ukraine, Joe Biden is increasingly under pressure from Democrats to prohibit imports of Russian oil. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), supported the move last Wednesday, declaring "I'm all in favor" of a ban on oil from Russia.
Biden stated last week that the U.S. is working with 30 countries to produce 60 million barrels of crude oil in global reserves. Half of this would be from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
As they attempt to protect their fragile majority in the House of Representatives and Senate, Biden and the Democrats have had to worry about rising inflation and high gas prices. U.S. gas prices hover just below $4 per gallon and have risen each day since the Russian invasion.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that he supports Russian oil imports being banned on "Meet the Press." He added, "I'm willing at least to do something and say "whatever it takes." We are going to increase our energy. We will basically produce the oil and natural gas, as well as build the pipelines.
Biden said that he has been "very clear about a thing all along, which is that we're not going put the United States into direct conflict with Russia." He stated that if a space is declared 'no fly', and a Russian aircraft flies through it it means we must shoot it down.
He said, "For all we're doing to Ukraine, the president also owes a responsibility not to get us into a conflict, a war with Russia, which is a nuclear power and risk a war spreading beyond Ukraine to Europe." This is clearly not in our best interest. We are trying to end the war in Ukraine and not start one.
Manchin stated that he wouldn't take a no fly zone off the table but that he was clear that he will support the Ukrainian people, president, and government in every way humanly feasible.
Blinken stated that U.S. actions had already had a "devastating effect on the Russian economy."
"We see the approval of free-fall. He said that the economy was heading for deep recession. "We have already made a significant impact but we are now looking again in coordination with allies to continue the process of banning oil imports."