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The once-plummeting ruble is already rebounding, buoyed in part by oil and gas exports — despite Western countries’ moves to halt or reduce their use of Russian energy. President Biden on Thursday announced an unprecedented release of 1 million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an effort to curb rising gas prices, for which Biden has blamed Putin.
Meanwhile, Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and others have balked at Putin’s new decree on gas purchases, set to take effect Friday. Leaders of the Group of Seven major economies agreed earlier this week that they would defy Moscow and continue paying in euros or dollars.