Russia Set to Ban Commodity Exports Following Western Sanctions

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President Vladimir Putin, pictured Tuesday, gave his cabinet two days to create a list of commodities and of countries subject to a new export ban.
Photo: handout/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is banning exports of certain commodities and raw materials, according to a decree issued Tuesday evening in Moscow.

The actual commodities that will be banned from export will be determined by the Russian cabinet, the decree said. Mr. Putin gave them two days to come up with a list of commodities and of countries subject to the ban.

The…

Russian President
Vladimir Putin

is banning exports of certain commodities and raw materials, according to a decree issued Tuesday evening in Moscow.

The actual commodities that will be banned from export will be determined by the Russian cabinet, the decree said. Mr. Putin gave them two days to come up with a list of commodities and of countries subject to the ban.

The decree came hours after President Biden said that the U.S. would ban imports of Russian oil over the country’s invasion of Ukraine and the European Union said it would aim to cut imports of Russian natural gas by two-thirds this year. The U.K. government also said Tuesday it was phasing out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022 and is exploring options to end Russian gas imports altogether.

Russia is the third-largest oil producer in the world and the biggest exporter of natural gas. The exports fuel Russia’s economy and the West was believed to be too dependent on them to quit easily. The invasion of Ukraine changed that dynamic.

Oil prices rose following Mr. Putin’s decree. Brent-crude prices, the international benchmark, extended earlier gains to trade 5.9% higher at $130.50 a barrel, before slipping back. They remained below the high of about $139 a barrel recorded on Monday.

Russia is also a major supplier of grains and metals such as aluminum, nickel and palladium, which it accounts for 40% of the world’s production. A sweeping ban on exports could upend global commodity markets. Nickel hit an all-time high today.

The decree was a follow-up to earlier measures taken by the Kremlin in retaliation for Western sanctions. It described the goal of the commodity-export ban as “ensuring the security of the Russian Federation and the uninterrupted functioning of industry.” The ban will be in effect until Dec. 31, according to the decree.

President Biden announced Tuesday a ban on Russian oil imports into the U.S., amid growing calls from bipartisan lawmakers to take action. The U.S. will also ban imports of Russian natural gas and other energy sources, Biden said. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition

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