Oil prices turned lower Wednesday morning, following President Biden’s ban on imports of Russian crude.
U.S. crude rose more than 2% during overnight hours before giving back gains.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down $1.73 at $121.80 a barrel, after surging 3.6% on Tuesday.
Brent futures were fell $1.54 at $126.46 a barrel, after jumping 3.9% the previous day.
Americans will feel pain, too — at the gas pump – Biden acknowledged, declaring, “Defending freedom is going to cost.”
The imports up until now had been an omission in the massive sanctions put in place on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. Energy exports have kept a steady stream of cash flowing to Russia despite otherwise severe restrictions on its financial sector.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a tweet praised Biden’s action: “Thankful for US and @POTUS personal leadership in striking in the heart of Putin’s war machine and banning oil, gas and coal from US market. Encourage other countries and leaders to follow.”
The European Union this week will commit to phasing out its reliance on Russia for energy needs as soon as possible, but filling the void without crippling EU economies will likely take some time. The U.K., which is no longer part of the EU, announced Tuesday that oil and oil products from Russia will be phased out by the end of the year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.