Washington, D.C./ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 17, 2024
Biden Drops Anchor on Russian Ships: U.S. Port Ban Extended Amid Ukraine ConflictSource: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a decisive move to maintain pressure on Moscow, President Joe Biden extended a mandate restricting Russian ships from U.S. ports for another year, continuing a national emergency declared last year in response to Russia's ongoing military aggression in Ukraine, the White House confirmed Tuesday.

The extension, as stated by The White House, reinforces restrictions first set in place on April 21, 2022, under Proclamation 10371, Biden cited the "continued premeditated, unjustified, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine" as the driving force behind the sustained national emergency which is, fundamentally rooted in a strategic aim to disrupt international relations crucial to U.S. interests.

The national emergency empowers the Secretary of Homeland Security to regulate the anchorage and movement of Russian-affiliated vessels, a power grounded in the National Emergencies Act and the Magnuson Act, a century-old statute providing the executive branch with broad authority to control maritime commerce during times of national emergency.

"The policies and actions of the Government of the Russian Federation to continue the premeditated, unjustified, unprovoked, and brutal war against Ukraine continue to constitute a national emergency by reason of a disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations of the United States," stated the President, per The White House, affirming that sweeping measures would persist in a bid to uphold international norms and, the strategic objective of this administration remains consistent, to apply economic and diplomatic pressure as levers to recalibrate the geopolitical dynamics at play.

The declaration and its continuation align with a broader coalition of sanctions and diplomatic efforts led by the U.S. and its allies, aiming to hold Russia accountable while supporting the sovereignty and defense of Ukraine during the conflict. This notice has been published in the Federal Register and transmitted to Congress, as per statutory requirements, thereby formalizing the administration's commitment to deterring Russian aggression through a combination of legislative and executive actions.