The European Union has agreed to a price ceiling for Russian oil – only US$60 per barrel.
Until this year, Germany and other European countries were among the biggest buyers of Russian oil. All that changed after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – EU member states announced a ban on Russian tanker oil coming into force on Monday. To this end, a price cap on Russian oil is to be implemented and Russia is to be forced to sell the raw material for a maximum of USD 60 (Swiss 56 Swiss francs) per barrel (159 litres).
“We will not accept this price ceiling,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, 55, said Saturday, according to Russian news agencies. He said Moscow had prepared in advance for such a cap, but did not provide further details.
as “Financial Times” It is now said that old oil tankers, the so-called “shadow fleet”, may have played an important role in these preparations. According to them, Russia has quietly amassed 100 foreign tankers to export Russian oil to other countries. This information comes from British shipping agent Bremer.
“Shadow Navy” is not a panacea against prohibition
Norwegian energy consultancy Rystad estimates that Russia will add 103 tankers by 2022 by buying and repurposing 12- to 15-year-old vessels serving Iran and Venezuela under Western oil embargoes. According to traders, the Shadow Fleet will mitigate the effects of these measures, but not eliminate them entirely – as Russia will need more than 240 tankers to maintain current exports.
“The number of vessels that Russia needs to transport all of its oil is staggering,” said Craig Kennedy, a Russian oil expert at Harvard’s Davis Center who follows the development of Russian tankers. take the oil.”
The EU said it would impose a 90-day ban on Western shipping instead of the lifetime ban originally proposed if a non-EU-flagged tanker breached the price limit. The move has been called for by both Greece and the United States, which want to ensure the measures do not weigh on the global economy unnecessarily.
In theory, some operators may decide to accept a temporary ban if the freight rates offered are high enough to take Russian oil outside the cap. However, Russia has long said it can refuse to supply oil under terms set by the West, meaning it will not do business with any country that complies with the cap. Instead, the country wants to use its new fleet to supply countries such as India, China and Turkey, which have become buyers of its oil as Europe has cut imports.
“It’s a shame to waste so much time”
Although the oil embargo will have severe consequences for Russian exports, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (44) is adamant that it will not be enough. With an agreed ceiling of US$60 per barrel (159 litres), more money continues to flow into Russia’s budget and thus into the war against his country, Zelensky said in his daily video address on Saturday evening.
It’s time for the world to resort to even tougher sanctions against Moscow, Zelensky said, considering the price ceiling for Russian oil. “It’s a shame to lose this time now.” The head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Andriy Yermak (51), had earlier called for a price cap of $30 a barrel. (chs)
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