On Tuesday President Joe Biden announced the United States will place a ban on all Russian oil imports as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine. Biden said, “that means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.”
Biden’s remarks, given at the White House, are not pleasing everyone. ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said Biden’s move to ban all Russian oil imports is “the stupidest thing you could ever imagine.”
“It is incredibly shortsighted and may actually have the opposite effect of what they think will happen” added Lance who warned how imports and exports allow for the global crude community to be “interconnected” and can produce price stability.
Lance also lamented about how the world has not given the energy industry due diligence until the Russia invasion of Ukraine began. “I think it’s starting to ramp up, unfortunately I couldn’t have said that two or three weeks ago. I think wasn’t much conversation going on with our administration and in our industry” said Lance.
“Certainly, I’ll speak for myself and our company, but I think that has ramped up as sort of this whole conversation around national security and energy security is clearly moving, moving to the forefront” he added.
The U.K. is also expected to announce plans to ban Russian oil as well. The ban will include a months-long lead-in time to allow the global market to adjust, and avoid panic-buying gas, reported Politico.
“This is a move that has strong bipartisan support in Congress and I believe in the country,” he added. “Americans have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part in subsidizing Putin’s war.”
In his remarks at the White House, Biden stated that although the ban will be without European participation, it was made in consultation with European allies.
“We’re moving forward this ban understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us,” Biden said. “The United States produces far more oil domestically than all the European countries combined.”
“We can take this step when others cannot, but we’re working closely with Europe and our partners to reduce their dependence on Russian energy as well,” he added.
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The Tate Brothers and Associates Face Human Trafficking Charges in Romania
In a recent development, the Tate brothers, Andrew and Tristan, along with two associates, find themselves at the center of a high-profile case involving human trafficking allegations.
The charges leveled against them indicate the formation of an organized criminal group in 2021 with the intent to carry out human trafficking operations not only in Romania but also in the United States and the United Kingdom, according to the BBC.
The investigation, which led to their arrest in December last year, has culminated in an indictment filed with the Bucharest court. According to the indictment, the Tate brothers are accused of luring their victims with false promises of love and marriage. Seven individuals have been identified as alleged victims, who were later coerced and subjected to a harrowing ordeal.
Prosecutors contend that the victims were taken to locations in Ilfov county, Romania, where they faced constant surveillance, intimidation, and control. The defendants allegedly forced the victims into debt and coerced them into participating in pornographic activities, with the explicit material subsequently shared on social media platforms. Shockingly, one of the defendants is accused of raping a woman on two occasions in March 2022, further amplifying the gravity of the charges.
While the trial is not expected to commence immediately, as a Romanian judge is granted 60 days to inspect the case files, it is anticipated to be a protracted legal battle. The complexity of the case and the severity of the charges will undoubtedly result in a lengthy trial process, with several years potentially passing before a verdict is reached.
Representatives for the Tate brothers released a statement acknowledging the unsurprising nature of the news but maintaining their belief in their innocence.
As reported by the BBC, the Tate brothers media team stared, “While this news is undoubtedly predictable, we embrace the opportunity it presents to demonstrate their innocence and vindicate their reputation.”
They expressed their eagerness to present a comprehensive body of evidence meticulously collected over time, which they believe will substantiate their claims of innocence and restore their tarnished reputation.
However, it should be noted that additional charges, such as money laundering and trafficking of minors, are still under investigation. If evidence is uncovered to support these allegations, a separate indictment could be filed, further complicating the legal proceedings for the defendants.
Andrew Tate, who gained notoriety through his participation in the reality television show Big Brother, has a controversial past, having been removed from the show in 2016 following a video that appeared to depict him assaulting a woman.
Despite subsequent bans on social media platforms due to his contentious statements, he has managed to amass a following, particularly among young men, by promoting an ostentatious and hyper-masculine lifestyle.
As the case unfolds, public attention will undoubtedly be drawn to the trial, with many eagerly awaiting the outcome and hoping for justice to be served for the alleged victims. The complex web of charges and the high-profile nature of the defendants ensure that this trial will be closely monitored and scrutinized by the media and the public alike.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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