March 08, 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today applauded President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will cease the import of Russian energy products including oil and gas to further strain the economic pressures on Vladimir Putin in response to his unprovoked attack against Ukraine. Today’s move comes days after Senator King joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues to introduce legislation banning the imports in order to ensure the Russian government and its corporate oligarchs feel maximum pressure from international sanctions.
“The United States must use every tool at our disposal to ensure Putin and his cronies feel the full economic consequences of their deadly invasion of a sovereign democratic neighbor. Banning Russian energy is an important, effective step to ratchet up economic pressure, and I’m glad President Biden has made the decision to end these imports,” said Senator King. “Over the last week, I’ve heard from many Maine people who’ve called for an end to Russian energy imports, want to see more pressure on Vladimir Putin, and are willing to pay a bit more at the pump to help Ukraine fight for their freedom. While this decision will increase gas prices temporarily, it is a small price to pay compared to the sacrifices we are watching the Ukrainian people make every day. This move is unquestionably the right thing to do – as long as Russia continues its brutal campaign against the Ukrainian people, the U.S. will take our business elsewhere.”
As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees Senator King has condemned the heinous attacks on Ukraine’s sovereignty, and worked to make sure Putin feels the economic price of his actions. Beyond his introduction of the oil/gas import ban, Senator King today introduced bipartisan legislation by freezing Russia’s ability to sell its gold reserves to finance its war effort. He has also recently introduced legislation that would prohibit the importation of Russian energy products, and sought a government study to evaluate how Russia’s energy influence can be countered globally. As the crisis in Ukraine has escalated, Senator King shared concerns that Putin may consider “greater force in Ukraine” and condemned the attacks on Ukrainian sovereignty while calling for a united, international effort to push back on Putin.