US President Joe Biden is under mounting pressure to ban oil imports from Russia amid their links to Vladimir Putin’s war effort in Ukraine. A White House reporter was “pushed out of a meeting with President Biden” after questioning him on the oil imports. Republican Representative Nancy Mace claimed that President Biden was “funding Putin” by refusing to stop buying oil “stained with Ukrainian blood”.
Reporters asking President Biden about Russian oil were ushered out of a White House cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Footage from the exchange saw the reporters ask whether President Biden “will ban Russian oil”.
White House staffers can be heard responding: “Out the door. Let’s go. No. He said no.”
Speaking to Fox News, South Carolina Representative Mace said: “The Democrats don’t want to answer questions about oil and gas when Russia is invading Ukraine.
“This is precisely the method by which Putin funds his war machine, through his oil and gas economy.”
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She continued: “We are funding it to the tune of 600,000 barrels of oil that we import a day.
“That oil is stained with Ukrainian blood.”
Ms Mace condemned the mixed messages from the White House.
Press secretary Jen Psaki shot down the idea of an oil ban, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi later backed calls for the ban.
This comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky himself demanded US lawmakers ban oil imports from Moscow.
However, Ms Psaki rejected the oil ban demand.
She told reporters: “We don’t have a strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy, and that would raise prices at the gas pump for the American people.”
Even the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has admitted that the EU had to stop its imports of Russian oil.
She said today: “The EU must completely get rid of dependence on gas, oil and coal from the Russian Federation through diversification, energy efficiency and energy transition.”
Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that western sanctions on his country were akin to a declaration of war.
He reiterated that Russia will not cease its invasion of Ukraine, insisting he wanted Ukraine to be “demilitarised”, “denazified” and to have neutral status.