Four in five Americans support end to U.S. imports of Russian energy -Reuters/Ipsos
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) - A large majority of Americans supports an end to U.S. imports of Russian energy as a response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, despite surging gasoline prices, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
The poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, suggests U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has broad support from voters of his party and from Republicans for the ban on Russian oil and natural gas imports.
Some 80% of respondents in the poll - including solid bipartisan majorities - said Americans should not buy oil or gas from Russia during the conflict even if it causes gasoline prices to increase. The overall level of support was unchanged from a poll last week even though the average U.S. price at the pump rose to a record on Tuesday of around $4.17 per gallon.
Ahead of Biden's announcement on Tuesday to end U.S. purchases of Russian energy, an increase in Russian shelling of cities in Ukraine had put pressure on the president to step up sanctions against Moscow.
Some 63% of respondents in the Reuters/Ipsos poll said paying more for fuel and gas was worthwhile to defend another democracy. About two-thirds said they would be willing to pay more than another $1 per gallon of gasoline, though that view was more common among Democrats than among Republicans.
Most respondents in the Reuters/Ipsos poll - 73% - said they would support a move by the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine to try to protect Ukrainians from Russian air attacks - even if this brought U.S.-led NATO into direct conflict with the Russian military.
NATO has dismissed calls for a no-fly zone precisely because of their concerns about a war with Russia, a fellow nuclear-armed power. Bipartisan majorities said they opposed the idea of the United States using airstrikes or sending American soldiers into Ukraine.
Biden's handling of the crisis received better marks in recent weeks, with 45% approval from the public in the most recent poll, up from 34% in a poll completed on the eve of Russia's Feb. 24 invasion.
A separate Reuters/Ipsos survey completed on Tuesday showed the share of Americans who disapprove of Biden's presidency fell five percentage points from a week earlier to 49%, the first time below 50% since December.
Biden's approval rating, which has been below 50% since August and remains near the low point of his presidency, rose to 45% from 43% last week.
Both polls were conducted online and in English throughout the United States. Both gathered responses from 1,005 and have credibility intervals, a measure of precision, of about 4 percentage points.
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