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Biden warns gas prices could rise as the US sanctions Russia, saying 'defending freedom will have costs'

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President Joe Biden arrives to speak to update the situation of the Ukraine-Russia border crisis during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 18, 2022 in Washington, DC.
President Joe Biden arrives to speak to update the situation of the Ukraine-Russia border crisis during an event in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 18, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • President Biden warned Americans that domestic gas prices could rise amid new sanctions on Russia.

  • "Defending freedom will have costs for us as well, and here at home," Biden said.

  • The new sanctions target Russian financial institutions, Russian elites, and its sovereign debt.

President Joe Biden warned Americans that domestic gas prices could rise as the US launched a slew of sanctions against Russia.

As he addressed the nation from the White House on Tuesday, Biden said his administration is using every "tool at our disposal" to protect American businesses and consumers from rising gas prices.

"Defending freedom will have cost for us as well, and here at home," Biden said. "We need to be honest about that."

But, the president said, "I'm going to take robust action to make sure the pain of our sanctions is targeted at [the] Russian economy, not ours."

He said the administration is "closely monitoring" energy supplies for any disruption.

"This will blunt gas prices. I want to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump," Biden said.

The Russian economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas exports. It is the world's third largest oil producer and is one of the leading sources of oil and gas for Europe, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Biden announced sweeping sanctions as a result of a series of recent escalations from Russia against Ukraine.

The sanctions target two large Russian financial institutions, Russian elites and their family members, and the country's sovereign debt — cutting off the government from Western financing.

Biden's remarks come after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the organization is working to finalize a sanctions package.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider