U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that “nothing is off the table” when asked if the United States would ban Russian oil and gas after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States is “very open” to imposing sanctions on Russia’s oil and gas industry at a time when global oil prices touched eight-year highs and supply disruptions mounted. The administration is, however, considering how it could rattle the markets, she said.
Although the United States has not yet targeted Russian oil sales as part of its sweeping economic sanctions following the invasion, U.S. traders have already acted to put such imports on hold, disrupting energy markets.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday, the United States is preparing a sanctions package targeting more Russian oligarchs as well as their companies and assets.
Oil prices reached a peak of $113 a barrel on Wednesday, nearly one week after Moscow invaded Ukraine. Meanwhile, OPEC+ oil producers meeting on Wednesday agreed to stick to their modest output rises, offering little relief to the market or consumers
On Tuesday, the United States and its allies agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil reserves to help offset supply disruptions.