Biden, allies affirm in call will continue raising costs on Russia for Ukraine invasion

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U.S. President Joe Biden listens as he meets with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto to discuss "Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 4, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden and the leaders of France, Germany and Britain affirmed in a video call on Monday their determination to continue raising the costs on Russia for its "unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine," the White House said.

Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson "underscored their commitment to continue providing security, economic, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine," the White House said in a statement.

NATO countries have ramped up their presence in the Baltic nations since Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine and more troops and equipment are on the way, policy makers have said.

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After Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the White House slapped sanctions on exports of technologies to Russia’s refineries and the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which has never launched. So far, it has stopped short of targeting Russia’s oil and gas exports as the Biden administration weighs the impacts on global oil markets and U.S. energy prices.

The United States and European partners are exploring banning Russian oil imports, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday, but stressed the importance of steady oil supplies globally.

Two sources told Reuters on Monday the Biden administration was willing to move ahead with a ban on Russian oil imports into the United States without the participation of allies in Europe. read more

Oil prices have soared over the past week after the United States and its allies sanctioned Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

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Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Chris Gallagher; Editing by Toby Chopra and Chizu Nomiyama

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