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Ukraine war

U.S. leads Western ban on Russian oil

Lower imports put America in better spot to absorb impact than European partners

An oil treatment plant in Russia's Irkutsk region. Around 3% of U.S. crude imports came from Russia last year, compared with 30% for the European Union.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/LONDON -- U.S. President Joe Biden's move Tuesday to ban imports of Russian oil targets a crucial source of foreign currency for Moscow, but whether European countries that depend more on Russian energy can follow suit remains unclear.

Western sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine previously avoided targeting the sector to prevent exacerbating the recent surge in fuel prices. This is a particular concern for Biden as he grapples with inflation, already at its highest level in four decades.

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