U.S. consumers are already feeling the squeeze. In California, prices for some types of gas has hovered around $6 in recent days; on Tuesday the state average was well over $5.
Republicans on Tuesday largely backed Mr. Bidenâ€™s decision to cut off Russian oil, giving the president a rare moment of bipartisan support. But even as they did so, many Republicans once again seized on high prices at the pump to criticize him and his party.
â€œDemocrats want to blame surging prices on Russia,â€ Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the House Republican leader, said on Tuesday. â€œBut the truth is, their out-of-touch policies are why we are here in the first place.â€
In his remarks, Mr. Biden cast the decision as a moral one, aimed at further crippling Mr. Putinâ€™s economy as Russian forces continued their brutal bombardment of civilians in several of Ukraineâ€™s cities and suburbs after two grueling weeks of war in Europe.
â€œUkrainian people have inspired the world and I mean that in the literal sense,â€ Mr. Biden said. â€œTheyâ€™ve inspired the world with their bravery, their patriotism, their defiant determination to live free. Putinâ€™s war has caused enormous suffering and needless loss of life of women, children, and everyone in Ukraine.â€
He added: â€œPutin seems determined to continue on his murderous path, no matter the cost.â€
Battles continued to rage across Ukraine on Tuesday as humanitarian officials reported that two million refugees have fled the country seeking safety. But casualties increased as evacuations though supposed â€œgreen corridorsâ€ continued to come under fire.
About 2,000 civilians were able to escape Irpin, a suburb just northwest of Kyiv, Ukraineâ€™s capital, which has spent days without water, power and heat because of the heavy fighting in the area. In the war-battered city of Sumy, east of Kyiv, one humanitarian corridor lasted long enough to allow hundreds of civilians to escape in a convoy of buses led by the Red Cross.