US further reduces trade with Russia, ban seafood, vodka and diamonds
The comprehensive trade change, which revokes Russia's "most favoured nation" designation, is being implemented in collaboration with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries.
President Joe Biden declared on Friday that the United States will drastically reduce its trade relations with Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, as well as ban imports of Russian, alcohol, seafood and artificial diamonds.
The comprehensive trade change, which revokes Russia's "most favoured nation" designation, is being implemented in collaboration with the European Union and the Group of Seven countries. "The free world is coming together to face Putin," Biden declared from the White House's Roosevelt Room.
"As Putin continues his ruthless assault," he told reporters, "the United States and our friends and partners continue to work in lockstep to increase economic pressures on Putin and further isolate Russia on the global stage."
In the United States, "most favoured nation" status is also referred to as permanent normal trade relations (PNTR). Only Cuba, North Korea and, now Russia do not have that status in the United States.
"Revoking PNTR for Russia will make it more difficult for Russia to do business with the United States, and doing so in concert with other nations that account for half of the global economy will be another crushing blow to the Russian economy, which is already suffering greatly as a result of our sanctions," Biden said.
On Friday, Biden also vowed to keep up the pressure on wealthy Russians with strong links to Putin, adding that the US and its partners are following their assets.
"We're also going to make it more difficult for them to buy high-end things made in our nations; we're prohibiting the export of luxury goods to Russia,"Biden told reporters.
The White House in a statement stated and gave examples what Russian elites buy "high-end watches, luxury vehicles, high-end clothes, high-end wine, jewellery, and other products regularly".
The executive order prohibits the importation of seafood, spirits/vodka, and non-industrial diamonds from Russia.
"This would deprive Russia of more than $1 billion in export income and guarantee that US citizens are not funding Putin's war," the White House stated.
The regulation will also lay out the conditions for Americans to invest in any sector of the Russian economy. Previously, new investments in Russia's energy sector were prohibited.
The declaration on Friday comes as the United States and its allies increase pressure and sanctions on Russia as its forces advance throughout Ukraine, capturing major cities. Canada unilaterally withdrew Russia's "most favoured nation" designation.