Luxury items 

Biden bans US imports of vodka, diamonds and Russian seafood

US President Joe Biden announces new actions against Russia for its war on Ukraine, during a speech in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, US, March 11, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday blocking US imports of key Russian products, including vodka, and banning exports of high-end products to Russia.

The executive action bans imports from key sectors of the Russian economy, such as seafood, alcohol and non-industrial diamonds, according to the text of the ordinance.

The action will block more than $1 billion in Russian revenue and help ensure that American citizens do not “guarantee” President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, the White House said in a fact sheet.

The order will also prevent the United States from exporting what the administration called “luxury items” to anyone in Russia. These products include high-end watches and clothes, jewelry, high-end alcoholic beverages and luxury vehicles – all of which figure prominently in the lifestyle of Russia’s mega-rich oligarchs.

The new export restrictions are valued at nearly $550 million a year, the White House said.

“These aren’t the last steps we’re taking,” Biden said in a White House speech Friday morning.

“Putin is the aggressor and Putin must pay the price,” he added.

The White House has revealed the latest moves to punish Moscow for invading Ukraine after Biden called on the US to revoke Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ trade status, opening the door to damaging new tariffs . The European Union and the Group of Seven countries should follow the same steps.

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