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Biden Announces Ban On Imports Of Russian Vodka, Seafood, And Diamonds, Moves To Revoke Favored Nation Status

On Friday, President Joe Biden announced a new wave of sanctions intended to “hold Russia accountable” in response to President Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine.

The economic measures will target the property of Russian oligarchs as well as ban various Russian exports such as luxury goods. With approval from the U.S. Congress, Biden will also suspend normal trading status with Russia, by revoking its most favored nation status, in coordination with other allies.

The president also stated that Putin would pay a “severe price” if Russia used chemical weapons, though he did not say what the response might be.

On Friday morning, The Daily Wire reported that Biden was expected to announce that the U.S. would revoke Russia’s most favored nation status.

That story was confirmed during a speech in which Biden declared that “Putin is an aggressor, he is the aggressor. And Putin must pay the price.”

The extent of the speech was summarized by Sara Cook of CBS News, who tweeted, “President Biden announces the US, in coordination with the G7 & EU, is revoking PNTR (permanent normal trade relations, aka Most Favored Nation status) for Russia.”

“The US is also banning the import of key goods from the Russian economy, including seafood, vodka & diamonds,” Cook added.

“Most Favored Nation gives all countries with the status equal trade advantages, such as paying lower tariffs,” she added. “By stripping this, tariffs on Russian imports would rise — at a time when Russia’s economy is already in free fall.”

Biden announced that the G7 nations along with the European Union will coordinate their efforts to hamstring Putin and the economic strength and morale of Russia.

“Each of our nations will take steps to deny ‘most favored nation’ status to Russia. A most favored nation status designation means two countries have agreed to trade with each other under the best possible terms — low tariffs, few barriers to trade and the highest possible imports allowed,” Biden said.

“In the United States, we call this permanent normal trade relations, PNTR, but it’s the same thing,” he added. “Revoking PNTR for Russia is going to make it harder for Russia to do business with the United States and doing it in unison with other nations that make up half of the global economy will be another crushing blow to the Russian economy that’s already suffering very badly from our sanctions.”

The move requires approval from Congress, but as reported by CNN, it is expected that a bipartisan group of elected officials will approve the measure. Biden also added that he asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to hold off on official legislation until he can officially secure agreements with other nations on the move.

“Pres Biden also thanked Pelosi for agreeing to hold off on legislation revoking Russia’s Most Favored Nation status until he lined up allies to join,” Cook added. “(Of note since lawmakers were pushing for a Russia oil ban bill w/out waiting for Biden, but he ultimately announced the oil ban)”

The president’s full speech can be seen here:

This is a developing story; Please stay tuned for updates.

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