Putin goes nuclear: Biden faces crisis as Russia BANS uranium exports in sanction response

Joe Biden announces ban on Russian oil and gas imports

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has hit back the US for the crippling sanctions placed by Joe Biden on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, the US dealt a major blow to Moscow by announcing a ban on Russian oil and gas, the country’s largest export. Now as a response to the embargo, Russia is considering halting the sale of uranium to the US.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that banning the supply of uranium to the US as a response to the energy sanctions is currently being studied, TASS reports.

When he was asked about how he felt about imposing a ban on the export of uranium, Mr Novak said: “This issue is also on the agenda, it is being studied.”

Uranium, which is a key component of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy, is another energy resource mined in Russia.

The US energy industry relies on Moscow and its key allies Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for roughly half of the uranium powering its nuclear power plants.

Mr Biden has faced intense lobbying from the nuclear industry to continue buying Russian uranium despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has known uranium deposits of 500,000 tonnes and accounts for 9 percent of the world’s uranium production, according to the World Nuclear Association.

Uranium is primarily used for its nuclear properties, both as a fuel for power plants and for nuclear weapons.

Earlier this month, at a White House address, Mr Biden said: ‘We’re banning all imports of Russian gas, oil and energy’

“Russian oil will no longer be accepted at US ports. We will not be part of subsidising Putin’s war.”

He noted that this ban targets “the main artery of Russia’s economy”.

Mr Biden said that this decision was taken in consultation with European allies, however, he noted that many of them are not in a position to join the US in banning Russian energy imports because they are more reliant on Russian oil and gas.

He said: “This is a step that we’re taking to inflict further pain on Putin, but there will be cost as well here in the United States.

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“I said I would level with the American people from the beginning, and when I first spoke to this I said defending freedom is going to cost.”

However, sources noted that these sanctions do not include a ban on imports of uranium for nuclear power plants.

Officials in the US are currently looking for alternative sources of uranium, even considering developing domestic enrichment capabilities.

Speaking to Reuters, Senator Dan Sullivan, an Alaska Republican said: “We need to look at alternative sources (for uranium), including in the United States.”

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