‘Nothing is off the table’: Biden won’t rule out Russian oil import ban as he prays for Ukraine on Ash Wednesday

Too early to say if Putin has committed war crimes, says Biden

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 02 March 2022 16:53 GMT
Key moments: State of the Union 2022
Leer en Español

As he departed the White House on a scheduled trip to Wisconsin, President Joe Biden was asked by reporters if the US will ban Russian oil and gas imports in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

“Nothing is off the table,” he responded.

The president was also asked whether he thought Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should leave the country.

“I think it’s his judgment to make and we’re doing everything we can to help him,” Mr Biden noted.

President Biden also said he believes it is clear Russian President Vladimir Putin is targeting civilian areas in Ukraine but he is not yet prepared to say if Russia has committed any war crimes yet.

“We are following it very closely. It’s early to say that,” Mr Biden said.

With a cross marked on his forehead for Ash Wednesday, the president, a practicing Catholic, said he was giving up “all sweets” for Lent.

He said he received ashes from a Catholic cardinal who came to the White House on Wednesday morning.

“We both prayed for ... the people of Ukraine,” Mr Biden added.

The president and first lady Jill Biden are on their way to Duluth, Minnesota, to take the infrastructure message of the State of the Union on the road – in his address to Congress he promised an end to talk of “infrastructure week” and rather the beginning of an “infrastructure decade”.

He will give a speech at the University of Wisconsin in Superior later on Wednesday and will note that the local Blatnik Bridge that connects Duluth and Superior is a critical piece of infrastructure in need of repairs.

The bipartisan infrastructure law is set to provide Minnesota an estimated $4.8bn and Wisconsin an estimated $5.4bn for roads and bridges over the next five years.

Wisconsin and Minnesota plan to dedicate some of their formula funds to replace the Blatnik Bridge. They also plan to apply for competitive grant funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help fund this project.

Wisconsin has 979 bridges in poor condition and Minnesota has 661 bridges in poor condition.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in