The US-led sanctions campaign against Russia has backfired on the West as Americans and Europeans are facing soaring gas prices, and Moscow is making more money on oil exports than it was before the war.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, President Biden has written off rising gas prices and inflation as “Putin’s price hike.” On Wednesday, Biden doubled down on blaming Russia while also admitting that his policies have only made things worse for Americans.
“We cut off Russian oil into the United States, and our partners in Europe did the same, knowing that we would see higher gas prices,” Biden said in an address at the White House, where he called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax.
“We could have turned a blind eye to Putin’s murderous ways, and the price of gas wouldn’t have spiked the way it has. I believe that would have been wrong,” the president added.
While denouncing Putin as “murderous,” Biden has plans to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman next month, who has been leading a brutal war against Yemen since 2015 with US backing, which has killed at least 377,000 people. Biden is expected to push MbS to increase oil output to lower global prices, exposing the hypocrisy of his administration’s policies.
Another step Biden could take to ease prices is lifting sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. But instead, the US has been ramping up sanctions on Iran. Some minor sanctions on Venezuela have been eased, but there’s still a long way to go before the South American country would be able to freely trade its oil.
While Americans and Europeans are feeling the economic pain, Russia’s oil exports are booming as China and India have significantly increased their imports of the Russian commodity. As a result, Asia has overtaken Europe as the top buyer of Russian oil, and Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as China’s top supplier.