U.S., European allies discuss banning imports of Russian oil, says Blinken

An American government official and diplomat, Antony John Blinken, stated on Sunday that the US is exploring a ban on Russian oil imports “in conjunction” with European and NATO partners, despite bipartisan calls for a full embargo as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

‘Everything we’ve done so far has been in conjunction with our allies and partners,’ adds Blinken.

Blinken speaking on CNN said the administration was considering the “prospect” of banning Russian oil imports “in a coordinated way” with allies while ensuring there was still enough oil on the global market, but he declined to elaborate on how that could be accomplished.

Later on NBC, he added, “The steps we’ve taken to date have already had a terrible impact on the Russian economy.”

Chuck Todd of “Meet the Press” pushed Blinken on whether the US would consider unilaterally banning Russian oil. “So it’s interesting you put ‘in coordination’ in there – the US isn’t going to do this on its own?” Todd inquired.

“Coordination with our allies and partners has been a hallmark of all we’ve done so far,” Blinken responded. “When we do things together and in as close of a coordinated manner as possible, we are much more effective across the board.”

“First and foremost, we want to make sure that we’re acting in concert,” he explained. “I’m not ruling out taking action in some way, regardless of what they do,” he says, “but everything we’ve done so far has started with coordinating with allies and partners.”

In both morning briefings, Blinken emphasized that the Russia-Ukraine conflict “may go on for a while,” and that while Putin is “destined to lose” against the will of the Ukrainian people, the suffering is “real” and “awful” in the interim.

Congressmen on both sides of the aisle have been putting pressure on the Biden administration to impose a ban on Russian oil and gas imports, but the administration has maintained that doing so would result in a large increase in domestic gas prices.

The Biden administration has been accused by critics of supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine by reducing domestic oil production and relying on Russian energy.