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US Bans Russian Flagged Ships From American Ports

by Guy McCardle Apr 22, 2022
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The Russian cargo ship "Baltic Leader" is seized at a commercial harbor in France on Feb. 26, 2022. Image Credit: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images
The Russian cargo ship "Baltic Leader" is seized at a commercial harbor in France on Feb. 26, 2022. Image Credit: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

President Biden has announced Thursday that the US will no longer allow ships with any Russian ties to enter American ports. This is the latest in his actions to sanction Russia for their unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and is in alignment with policies already put in place by Canada and European nations.

President Biden announces a ban on Russian ships in US ports during a speech in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. April 21, 2022. Image Credit: Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein

In his remarks, Biden stated:

“That means no ship, no ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by Russian interests will be allowed to dock in the United States port or access our shores. This is yet another critical step we’re taking in concert with our partners in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada and further, to deny Russia the benefits of international economic system that they so enjoyed in the past.” 

Earlier this month, Biden administration officials began talking seriously about ramping up the sanctions on Russia after discovering civilians had been executed by Russian troops in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv.

While exploring ways to combat Russia more aggressively, the White House has regularly argued that Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been far less successful than he initially hoped. Despite that, Biden said that it’s essential that the United States continue to take tougher stances against the Russian government as the war continues.

The body of a civilian, who, according to residents, was killed by Russian soldiers lies in the street of Bucha, near Kyiv. Image Credit: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra
The body of a civilian, who, according to residents, was killed by Russian soldiers lies in the street of Bucha, near Kyiv. Image Credit: Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

During his Thursday press conference, the President continued:

“As Russia continues to grind out the military advances and their military advances, the brutalities against Ukraine, Putin is banking on us losing interest. That’s been my view. You heard me say this from the beginning. He’s betting on Western unity will crack. He’s still betting. And once again, we’re going to prove him wrong.”

President Biden clarifies his position on Russian ships in US ports. Thursday, April 21st. Video courtesy of YouTube and Bloomberg.

Biden’s move is more symbolic than impactful: Russian-flagged ships account for less than 1% of the cargo that arrives at American ports. That’s only about 1,800 visits per year.

Still, before the final decision was made, an extensive review was conducted to ensure this move would not seriously impact already stressed US supply chains.

The United States previously barred Russian airplanes from our airspace, joining Canada and European nations in action, and has banned Russian oil imports, which accounted for much of the prior Russian ship traffic to the United States.

Trade between the US and Russia amounted to $35 billion in 2019, making Russia America’s 26th largest goods trading partner. The US had a $17 billion goods trade deficit and a $3 billion services trade surplus with Russia that year.

We primarily export machinery, aircraft, and vehicles to Russia and mainly import mineral fuels ($13 billion in 2019), precious metals such as platinum and stones, and iron and steel.

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