President Joe Biden announced that the United States will revoke Russia’s “most favored nation” trade status, one of the foundational precepts of global trade rules and global trade architecture that states that all trading partners must be treated equally.

Biden said the move, which would require an act of Congress, would deal “another crushing blow to the Russian economy.” Biden acknowledged that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had “agreed to hold off” on a bill in the House ending normal trade relations with Russia until U.S. allies on board with the plan. He noted that there is a bipartisan support for such a measure.

“The free world is coming together to confront [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. Our two parties here at home are leading the way,” Biden said.

“Putin must pay the price,” Biden said, noting that the G-7 nations have agreed to block Russia’s ability from borrowing funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. “He cannot pursue a war that threatens the very foundations — which he is doing — the very foundations of international peace and stability and then ask for financial help from the international community.”

Biden stressed that the U.S. and NATO allies would not fight Russia in Ukraine, cautioning that such an action could potentially kick off a third world war.

“We’re going to continue to stand together with our allies in Europe and send an unmistakable message. We will defend every single inch of NATO territory with the full might of the united and galvanized NATO,” Biden said. “We will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. Direct conflict between NATO and Russia is World War III, something we must strive to prevent.”

The U.S. will also impose additional sanctions on Russia in retaliation for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent move to invade Ukraine. The U.S. will ban imports of Russian seafood, vodka and diamonds.


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