Senate votes to ban Russian oil and gas imports

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Railway wagons for oil, fuel and liquefied gas stand in the sidings of the Yanichkino railway station near the Gazprom Neft PJSC Moscow refinery in Moscow, Russia, Monday, April 27, 2020.

Andrei Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday passed a bill to ban oil and gas imports from Russia, the latest move by the U.S. government to economically isolate and penalize the Kremlin for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. .

The legislation, passed by 100 votes to 0, bans the import of oil, gas, coal and other energy products from Russia. This comes nearly a month after President Joe Biden signed an executive order that required essentially the same steps.

The Senate bill codifies Biden’s order into law, making it much harder for a future president to reverse it. The legislation passed after being mired in the Senate for weeks.

The oil import ban was passed immediately after the Senate unanimously approved a bill to revoke Russia’s permanent normal trade relations with the United States, often referred to as a “nation most favoured”. The legislation would also sever normal trade relations with Belarus, a key Russian ally.

“This package aims to bring every tool of economic pressure to bear on Vladimir Putin and his oligarch cronies,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said in a statement on the measures.

“Putin’s Russia does not deserve to be part of the economic order that has existed since the end of World War II,” he said.

The Oil Prohibition Bill and Trade Status Legislation are expected to pass in the House later on Thursday. Both are expected to pass with overwhelming majorities.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

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