Russia to stop selling oil to countries that set price caps, says Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters): The Kremlin on Friday said Russia would stop selling oil to countries that impose price caps on Russia’s energy resources – caps that Moscow said would lead to significant destabilisation of the global oil market.

“Companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call, endorsing comments made on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

“We simply will not cooperate with them on non-market principles,” Peskov said.

G7 industrialised powers on Friday said they would “urgently” move towards the implementation of a price cap on Russian oil imports, as they sought to dial up sanctions on Moscow.

“We commit to urgently work on the finalisation and implementation of this measure”, G7 finance ministers said in a statement, without specifying the cap level.

The European Union earlier this year imposed a partial ban on Russian oil purchases, which Brussels says will halt 90 per cent of Russia’s exports to the 27-member bloc when it fully comes into force.

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday it was time for the EU to consider a similar price cap on Russian gas purchases.

Peskov said it was European citizens who were paying the price for such moves, imposed in response to Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine.

“Energy markets are at fever pitch. This is mainly in Europe, where anti-Russian measures have led to a situation where Europe is buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States for a lot of money, unjustified money. US companies are getting richer and European taxpayers are getting poorer,” Peskov said.

Russia was studying how a price ceiling on its oil exports might affect its economy, Peskov said. “One thing can be said with confidence: such a move will lead to a significant destabilisation of the oil markets.”

Before Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February, Europe was the destination for almost half of Russia’s crude and petroleum product exports, according to the International Energy Agency.

The bloc imported 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, 1.2 million bpd of refined products and 0.5 million bpd of diesel in 2021, with Germany, Poland and the Netherlands the largest customers.