Friday, May 24, 2024

EU to approve cap on price of Russian oil

(BBC News) The European Union looks set to approve a cap on the price of Russian oil after Poland gave its backing.

The plan, which stops countries paying more than $60 USD a barrel, needed the agreement of all EU states.

Poland announced its support on Friday after being reassured the cap would be kept at 5% lower than the market rate.

A price cap put forward by the G7 group of nations in September aims to limit Moscow’s profits from oil exports while avoiding a price spike.

Poland’s support for the proposal means the EU can keep to its plan of having a price cap in place by Dec. 5.

It had been reported that the EU wanted to set the cap at $65-70, but this was rejected by Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia as too high.

Warsaw had wanted the value to be as low as possible and had held out while it examined an adjustment mechanism that would keep the cap below the market rate as the price of oil changed.

On Friday, Russian Urals crude was trading at $64 a barrel.

The agreement of a price cap comes just days before an EU-wide ban on Russian crude oil imported by sea comes into force, also on 5 December.

The price cap – which is intended to affect oil exports worldwide – is meant to complement that.

Countries that sign up to the G7-led policy will only be permitted to purchase oil and petroleum products transported via sea that are sold at or below the price cap.

Ukraine’s western allies plan to deny insurance to tankers delivering Russian oil to countries that do not stick to the price cap. This will make it hard for Russia to sell oil above that price.

G7 finance ministers said in September that their plan to limit the price of Russian crude would reduce Moscow’s oil revenues and its ability to “fund its war of aggression.”

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby welcomed the agreement of an EU price cap on Friday, saying it would slow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.”

Russia denounced the scheme, saying it would not supply those countries that enforced a price cap.

Before the war, in 2021, more than half of Russia’s oil exports went to Europe, according to the International Energy Association. Germany was the largest importer, followed by the Netherlands, and Poland.

But since the war, EU countries have been desperately trying to decrease their dependency. The U.S. has banned Russian crude oil, while the UK plans to phase it out by the end of the year.

Though the measures will most certainly be felt by Russia, the blow will be partially softened by its move to sell oil to other markets such as India and China – currently the largest buyers of Russian crude oil.

BIG Media
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