(NewsNation) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the Biden administration is engaging in an “active discussion” regarding whether or not to ban Russian oil imports.
When asked about potentially banning imports of Russian oil, Blinken said he has spoken with the president and Cabinet on the prospective move, and that discussions are underway with European partners and allies.
“That’s a very active discussion as we speak,” he added.
“When it comes to oil, Russian oil, I was on the phone yesterday with the president and other members of the Cabinet on exactly the subject. And we are now talking to our European partners and allies to look in a coordinated way at the prospect of banning the import of Russian oil, while making sure that there is still an appropriate supply of oil on world markets,” Blinken told co-anchor Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that President Joe Biden was considering steps to reduce U.S. imports of Russian oil. She emphasized, however, that the administration is “focused on minimizing the impact to families.”
One day earlier, however, Psaki knocked down the prospect of banning Russian oil imports, telling 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.”
But the push to ban Russian oil imports is ramping up on Capitol Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed the move Thursday, telling reporters “ban the oil coming from Russia.”
“I’m all for that — ban it,” she added. She noted, however, that she does not want gas prices to rise.
Also Sunday, hundreds of protesters rallied at the White House, calling for more support to deter the Russian invasion, in part by banning the use of Russian oil.