WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will announce a ban on the U.S. import of Russian energy in the latest effort to ratchet up sanctions over Russias invasion of Ukraine, a source familiar with the announcement told USA TODAY.

The White House updated Biden’s schedule Tuesday morning to include remarks announcing “actions to continue to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine.”

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The source, who spoke to USA TODAY on condition of anonymity, said the speech would focus on the forthcoming ban on Russian oil, liquefied natural gas and coal.

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Gas prices have already soared since the war began.

But pressure has been building in Congress for the administration to take this step.

While the U.S. has closely coordinated with allies in imposing sanctions, it would be more difficult for European countries to ban imports because of its greater dependence on Russian oil and gas. Only the U.S. will impose the ban but European allies were consulted on the decision, according to the source.

“I would look at it through a different prism than past coordinated efforts,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday when asked about the U.S. potentially banning Russian oil.

In 2021, the U.S. imported about 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil and petroleum from Russia, according to the White House. The Europeans imported about 4.5 million barrels per day of oil.

Currently, Russian imports account for about a third of Europe’s oil imports, Psaki said Monday.

By block head

Block Head is a blockchain journalist.