By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Russia says it will not accept a price cap on its oil and is analysing how to respond to the decision of the European Union which caps its oil at $60 per barrel, the Kremlin said in comments reported on Saturday.
Western powers had reached the deal targeting Moscow’s economic strength in prosecution of its war in Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow had made preparations for Friday’s price cap announcement by EU and Australia, Russian state news agency TASS reported.
“We will not accept this cap,” RIA news agency quoted him as saying. He added that Russia would conduct a rapid analysis of the agreement and respond after that, RIA reported.
Russia has repeatedly said it will not supply oil to countries that implement the cap – a stance reaffirmed by Mikhail Ulyanov, Moscow’s ambassador to international organisations in Vienna, in posts on social media on Saturday.
“Starting from this year Europe will live without Russian oil,” he said.
The G7 price cap will allow non-EU countries to continue importing seaborne Russian crude oil, but it will prohibit shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargoes of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for less than $60.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the cap will particularly benefit low- and medium-income countries that have borne the brunt of high energy and food prices.
“With Russia’s economy already contracting and its budget increasingly stretched thin, the price cap will immediately cut into (President Vladimir) Putin’s most important source of revenue,” Yellen said in a statement.