US Senators Call for Sanctions on Russian Oil Sales to China

Republican Senators   have demanded sanctions on China ’s purchase of oil and other energy supplies from Russia in an effort to cut off funding for that country’s war against Ukraine.

Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, introduced a bill in the US Senate along with fellow Republicans Rick Scott, also of Florida, and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota in pursuit of their demand. The bill seeks penalties on any entity insuring or registering tankers shipping oil or liquefied natural gas to China from Russia.

By buying Russia n energy, China is supporting that country’s war in Ukraine, said Rubio in a statement. And contended that any entity, including Chinese state-run companies, helping the Russian effort should “face serious consequences.”

It may not be easy for Rubio and fellow Republicans to push ahead with their bill since the Senate is controlled by Democrats.  Also, because their demand runs counter to Biden administration policy, which aims to keep oil supplies flowing while at the same time limiting Russia ’s energy revenue.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has floated the idea of a price cap that would let buyers continue to use Russian crude if they agreed to pay below-market rates.

The administration is still formulating that policy as it tries to convince European allies of the approach. ###