WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday reiterated that the Biden administration remains resistant for now on banning Russian oil imports, raising concerns that such a ban could have a negative impact for U.S. and European economies. She added, however, that the administration was “looking at options we could take right now to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy,”
Psaki also called on Russian forces to withdraw from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southeastern Ukraine. Russian troops seized the plant earlier Friday.
“The best step for nuclear safety would be for Russia to immediately withdraw,” Psaki said.
Officials from the U.N. and Ukraine said no radiation was released from the Russian attack at Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine, and firefighters have extinguished a blaze at the facility.
The fire at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar was extinguished early on Friday morning, hours after Russian forces began shelling the facility.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's director-general said Friday the building hit by a Russian "projectile" at the plant was "not part of the reactor" but instead a training center at the plant.
Nuclear officials from Sweden to China also said no radiation spikes had been reported.
The fire at the plant sparked fears of the 1986 nuclear disaster at the Soviet-run Chernobyl plant in Ukraine. Even though the nuclear plant is of a different design than Chernobyl and is protected from fire, nuclear safety experts and the International Atomic Energy Agency warn that waging war in and around such facilities presents extreme risks.