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U.S. ban imports of alcohol, seafood from Russia amid Ukraine invasion

President Joe Biden announced Friday the United States will dramatically downgrade its trade status with Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine and also ban imports of Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds; such as vodka and caviar.

In remarks from the White House, US President Biden called for revoking Russia’s “most favored nation” status, known as permanent normal trade relations in the US. The move, which has been coordinated with G7 and EU allies, will require an act of Congress.

The United States’ ban of exporting of luxury goods to Russia, which Biden referenced in his speech will also include items like tobacco, clothing, jewelry, cars and antiques, an administration official tells CNN.

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The idea behind this, the White House official explains, is to continue hurting Russian oligarchs and the country’s wealthiest by depriving them of their creature comforts, as the US continues to try to put pressure around those close to Vladimir Putin. It is also aimed at removing ways for these oligarchs to shelter their money, as they are already increasingly closed off from traditional financial avenues, the official said.

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