In Washington, President Joe Biden announced that he would like to end regular trade relations with Russia with Congress. Moscow has the status of “most preferred country”, which facilitates free trade in goods and services, but loses it. As for foreign trade with the United States, it falls into the same category as Russia, Cuba or North Korea. Moscow can challenge this move in the World Trade Organization.
The suspension would pave the way for higher tariffs on Russian goods. Biden also wants a ban on imports of key sectors of the Russian economy, such as Russian vodka, diamonds and seafood. In addition, further sanctions will be imposed on Russian oligarchy. Biden stressed that the United States is working with its G7 partners and the European Union.
However, trade relations between the United States and Russia are low: Russia was the twentieth supplier of goods to the United States in 2019, mainly according to US officials, supplying oil and gas, metals and chemicals. The White House, however, stressed that this would be a major blow to the Russian economy, along with the actions of other Western partners.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the United States, in conjunction with the European Union and other allies, has already imposed very severe sanctions against Russia, including the largest banks and the Russian Central Bank. They are already putting pressure on Russia’s economy. A few days ago, the United States also banned oil imports from Russia. In addition, many US companies are voluntarily suspending their trade with Russia.
“Avoid World War III”
The president promised to “avoid a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia” because it would lead to a “third world war.” “We are not going to wage war against Russia in Ukraine,” Biden said from the White House. He also stressed that Moscow would “pay a heavy price” for the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine.
The West is concerned about the use of chemical weapons by the Russian military in Ukraine. Russia, for its part, has accused Washington and Kiev of funding laboratories in Ukraine to produce biological weapons, which have been denied by both capitals. The United Nations Security Council will consider the matter on Friday.
Americans suspect that the Russians are spreading “lies” to “blame others for what they are doing.”
Regarding Ukrainian refugees, Biden said the United States would welcome them “with open arms.”