US lawmakers vote to suspend trade relations with Russia and ban its gas and oil

Senators unanimously supported bills banning Russian energy and revoking its normal trade status (Pictures: Getty Images/EPA)

The US Senate has unanimously voted to ban Russian gas and oil imports to the US and strip Moscow of its preferential trade status, amid the ongoing war on .

If passed by the House as expected later on Thursday and signed by President , the legislation would allow the US to impose higher tariffs on Russian products and cut off a strong source of revenue for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, the ban on Russian energy would be largely symbolic, according to experts. Moscow is already struggling with its oil exports, which account for only a small amount of the US’s supply.

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday night had said the Senate would pass the legislation.

Russian President Vladimir ‘Putin must absolutely be held accountable for the detestable, despicable war crimes he is committing against Ukraine,’ Schumer said.

‘The images we have seen coming out of that country, especially out of the town of Bucha, are just pure evil.’

Shortly after the Senate’s vote on Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly voted to an US-led effort to due to its invasion of Ukraine. The assembly voted 93-24 to suspend Russia, with 58 countries abstaining. Suspending Russia, a founding member of the UN, from the Geneva-based council is largely a diplomatic move.

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