Biden Blames Russia for Soaring Global Energy Prices in NATO Speech

By Scott Kanowsky — U.S. President Joe Biden doubled down on his commitment to Ukraine’s war effort, as he blamed a spike in gas prices on the Russian invasion of the country.

Speaking at a closely-watched press conference at a NATO summit in Spain, Biden said he would allow costs at the pump to remain high for “as long as it takes” to help Ukraine push Russian forces out the country.

“I don’t know how [the conflict] is going to end, but it will not end with the Russian defeat of Ukraine in Ukraine,” Biden said.

He also backed a plan, agreed on earlier this week at a G-7 meeting in Germany, that would place a cap on the price of Russian oil. Biden said the move would limit Moscow’s revenue from its key energy exports, and potentially help speed up a resolution to the war in Ukraine.

“We’ve said to [Russia] […] we’re going to allow you to have a profit on what you make, but not the exorbitant prices that you are charging for the oil now,” Biden said. “We think it can be done, and it would drive down the price of oil and it would drive down the price of gasoline as well.”

Global energy prices have risen sharply since the start of the conflict in Ukraine earlier this year, partly due to a Western ban on Russian oil exports that was imposed after the onset of the war.

The price cap proposal – first introduced by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen – has been pitched as a tactic to “dampen” the impact of the war on the American economy. However, it remains unclear if other major importers of Russian energy, namely China and India, will also agree to the plan.

During his statements, Biden added that he will ask Gulf state leaders to boost oil production during a meeting next month in a bid to moderate the rise in energy costs. Biden also revealed that he plans to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but explained he was not going to Saudi Arabia solely to meet with him.

Oil prices fell on Thursday amid lingering worries over global supply. As of 10:08 EST (1408 GMT), futures for September were lower by 1.94% at $110.27 a barrel. The August contract for U.S. West Texas Intermediate  declined by 2.03% to $107.55.

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