No. 2 Senate Democrat backs bill banning Russian oil imports

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks to reporters on Monday, February 28, 2022 to discuss Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson who was announced on Feb. 25 at the White House.
Greg Nash

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) announced Saturday he would be backing a bill banning Russian oil imports. 

The senator said he would co-sponsor the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded in a virtual meeting with Congress Saturday for the U.S. to stop buying Russian oil.

The bipartisan bill was previously introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a senior member of that committee.

“The United States cannot continue to purchase millions of barrels of oil while Putin wages an unprovoked and unjustified war on Ukraine,” Durbin said. 

“The Ban Russian Energy Imports Act would declare a national emergency with respect to Russian aggression and immediately prohibit the import of Russian energy products. This bipartisan bill shows the U.S. Senate’s commitment to stand behind the brave Ukrainian people,” he added. 

Along with his request that the U.S. stop importing Russian oil, Zelensky on Saturday asked Congress for more airplanes and the establishment of a no-fly zone over Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion. 

Lawmakers from both parties praised Zelensky after the virtual meeting, which took place more than a week after Russia launched its attack on Ukraine.

Since the attack, the U.S. has placed harsh sanctions on Russia and supplied aid to Ukraine. The U.S. has ruled out a no-fly zone in Ukraine and deploying troops in the country.

Tags Dick Durbin Dick Durbin Joe Manchin Joe Manchin Lisa Murkowski Lisa Murkowski Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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