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US revoking Russia's most-favored nation status as punishment for Ukraine war

  • Author
  • Nick Lazzaro
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Metals

The US will revoke Russia's most-favored nation status March 11 as part of a new round of economic actions to "squeeze" Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war against Ukraine, President Joe Biden said.

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"A most-favored nation status designation means two countries have agreed to trade with each other under the best possible terms," Biden said during a press conference. "This is going to make it harder for Russia to do business with the United States, and doing it in unison with other nations that make up half of the global economy will be another crushing blow to the Russian economy that is already suffering very badly from our sanctions."

The governments of the other G7 nations and the EU will enact similar measures against Russia, Biden said.

Revoking Russia's most favored nation status would raise duty levels for metals products, including unwrought aluminum, pure magnesium, magnesium alloy, nickel, zinc and ferroalloys.

G7 governments will also ensure that Russia cannot obtain financing from leading multilateral financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, according to a March 11 White House statement.

Additionally, the White House said G7 governments will enact sanctions on additional Russian elites, ban Russian exports of luxury goods such as vodka and diamonds, establish a legal framework to block future investments in any sector of the Russian economy and issue new guidance to prevent attempts by Russian officials to evade sanctions.

"The ruble has lost more than half of its value," Biden said. "The Russian government's credit rating has been downgraded to 'junk' status, and we're seeing a mass exodus from Russia by the private sector."