US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced that all ships affiliated to Russia would be banned from American ports, joining a host of other nations in taking similar actions against Moscow over the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“That means no ship, no ship that sails under the Russian flag or that is owned or operated by a Russian entity, will be allowed to dock in a United States port or access our shores. None,” Biden said on Thursday, announcing the ban.
“The policies and actions of the Government of the Russian Federation to continue the premeditated, unjustified, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine constitute a national emergency by reason of a disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations of the United States,” a paragraph from Biden’s new order said, explaining the reasons behind the ban.
The order further clarified the meaning of “Russian-affiliated” vessels, explaining that the term includes vessels registered in Russia, vessels owned by the Russian government/Russian individuals/Russian companies, and vessels operated by the Russian government/Russian individuals/Russian companies.
However, the move on its own is unlikely to make much of a dent to the Russian war machine: Reuters, citing a source, reported Russian-affiliated vessels made 1,800 visits to US ports in 2021, less than 3% of all traffic that year. The publication further reported that 90% of those 1,800 visits were Russian oil imports, which the US banned shortly after the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
That being said, Biden’s announcement of the ban on Russian-affiliated vessels saw the US join the likes of Canada, Italy, Bulgaria, and Estonia, which have already implement similar bans in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.