On Thursday, the U.S. Congress voted overwhelmingly to suspend the normal trade status of Russia and banned to import of Russian oil, intensifying the United States’ response to Russian aggression against Ukraine amid the latest reports of atrocities by the Russian military. Moreover, the House of Representatives approved the action quickly after the Senate approved the two bills overwhelmingly.
Representatives strongly endorsed the substance of the two bills. But, on the other hand, the House passed the trade move with 420-3 votes and the energy ban with 413-9 votes. Previously, U.S. President Joe Biden took executive action to ban liquefied natural gas, Russian oil, and coal to the United States and asked Congress to revoke Russian favored trading status in March.
Congress voted to slap more economic sanctions on Russia over its aggression against Ukraine. It passed a measure to remove its most favored country’s trade status & another to bar oil imports. Biden signed two bills after their approval from Congress to punish Russia & Belarus. pic.twitter.com/K2RgMOMsu6
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) April 9, 2022
So, the legislation strengthens the president’s hand in applying new trade sanctions to Russian import items and bans energy imports into law. Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, said that Biden intends to sign the Congress-approved legislation. Furthermore, the Congressional move follows a series of announcements regarding sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and its allies.
The United States, with other G-7 industrial countries and the E.U., also slapped blocking sanctions on institutions and backs, including Sberbank, Russian largest financial institution, and Alfa-Bank, its largest private bank. Chuck Schumer, the Senate Majority Leader, announced a breakthrough in secret Senate talks to bring the bills up for votes before U.S. Congress leaves Washington for around fifteen days.
Biden Signed Sanctions Bills Targeting Trade with Russia and Belarus
The White House announced that Biden signed two legislations on Friday imposing additional sanctions on Russia and its neighboring nation Belarus. These sanctions mark the latest move of the U.S. government to punish both countries for Russian current deadly aggression against Ukraine. One bill bans energy imports from Moscow, including coal, oil, and natural gas. And other legislation suspends normal trade relations with Belarus and Russia, punishing both nations by paving the way for increased tariffs on energy imports.
Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky opposed proposed changes to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, raising concerns that the new language would give additional power to the executive branch to track human rights abuses. Eventually, Senators gave in to demands of Paul, retaining the more narrowly clear bill about human rights abuses.
The Biden government announced further sanctions on the largest financial institutions in Russia and many individuals tied to Moscow, including two adult daughters of Putin, as it looks to intensify economic pressure on Russia and the president himself following terrible images from Bucha. Later, the U.K. announced its own sanctions, and the E.U. is likely to follow suit, escalating Western pressure on Russia with the war now in its second month.
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