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Ukrainian President Zelenskyy reportedly pushed Biden to cut Russia off from global trade

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US President Joe Biden meets with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oval Office of the White House, on September 1, 2021. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
US President Joe Biden meets with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in the Oval Office of the White House, on September 1, 2021. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images
  • Zelenskyy is pressuring Biden to go further on sanctions with Russia stepping up a brutal military campaign.
  • He wants the US to cut Russia off from global trade and bar its ships from entering American ports.
  • Zelenskyy is addressing Congress on Wednesday, and more financial help could be on the way.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed US President Joe Biden to take more aggressive steps to counter Russia economically and choke off its ability to trade globally, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The Ukrainian leader also wants the US to keep Russian ships out of its ports and close any sanction loopholes, among other steps. 

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The pair spoke on Friday. The White House issued a statement at the time saying Biden sought "to underscore his support for the Ukrainian people as they continue to defend their country against Russia's unprovoked and unjustified attack."

Biden announced on Friday that the US would revoke Russia's normal trade relations alongside the European Union, opening the door to tariffs on all its goods. The step treats Russia like a global outcast comparable to Syria or North Korea.

The Biden administration has already barred all imports of Russian oil and gas, severed Russia's ability to access its international currency reserves, and imposed sanctions on numerous government and business elites with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Others in Zelenskyy's inner circle are also calling for a global ban on Russian oil and gas. A wave of other Western sanctions have pummeled the Russian economy, prompting the ruble to lose over half its value in just over two weeks. Russia has provided no signs that it is letting up in its increasingly brutal military campaign in Ukraine.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that Zelenskyy would address Congress on Wednesday. Lawmakers recently approved $13.6 billion in emergency economic and military aid to Ukraine — and more is likely on the way.

"The Congress remains unwavering in our commitment to supporting Ukraine as they face Putin's cruel and diabolical aggression, and to passing legislation to cripple and isolate the Russian economy as well as deliver humanitarian, security and economic assistance to Ukraine," Pelosi and Schumer said.

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