Republican senators introduce bill to ban Russian uranium imports

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) points to a Wall Street Journal article while questioning nominee to be Director of the National Park Service Charles Sams III during his Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee nomination hearing on Oct. 19
Greg Nash

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and several other Republican senators introduced legislation on Thursday that would ban imports of Russian uranium as an additional way to economically isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The legislation would further steps already taken by the U.S. to prohibit Russian energy imports after President Biden last week announced a ban on imports of oil, natural gas and coal from the country.

“The time is now to permanently remove all Russian energy from the American marketplace,” Barrasso, who is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement. “We know Vladimir Putin uses this money to help fund his brutal and unprovoked war in Ukraine.”

“While banning imports of Russian oil, gas and coal is an important step, it cannot be the last. Banning Russian uranium imports will further defund Russia’s war machine, help revive American uranium production, and increase our national security.”

Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) joined Barrasso in introducing the legislation.

“This is a country that has repeatedly shown a willingness to weaponize their energy exports for geopolitical advantage, and have used those profits to finance their aggressive and unprovoked war against the sovereign nation of Ukraine,” Marshall said in a statement. “Enough is enough – energy independence means energy independence and that must include uranium.”

The development comes as the U.S. has continued to ramp up sanctions and punishments against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which started over three weeks ago. Russian President Vladimir Putin and the country’s foreign minister have been sanctioned, along with the parent company of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and its corporate officers.

The U.S. has also banned Russian imports of seafood, spirits and diamonds in addition to energy imports. 

U.S. officials have also stepped up their rhetoric against Russia and its president, with President Biden on Wednesday calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal.” He furthered those remarks on Thursday, saying Putin was a “pure thug” and “murderous dictator.”

Tags Cynthia Lummis Cynthia Lummis Joe Biden John Barrasso John Barrasso Kevin Cramer Kevin Cramer Roger Marshall Roger Marshall Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Russian energy imports Ukraine Uranium Vladimir Putin

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