Greece, Cyprus no longer against EU Russian oil price cap - Reports
Reports say that Greece and Cyprus drop opposition to the EU Russian oil price cap, and the 8th sanctions package against Russia may be announced by the EU leaders late this week.
Greece and Cyprus have succumbed to the pressure the European Commission exerted to back its effort carried out to cut the price of Russian crude exports to third countries as part of its next package of sanctions, media said Tuesday.
According to people familiar with the matter, Euractiv news website said, this makes Cyprus the only holdout. EU envoys are going to meet on Tuesday evening with the aim of finalizing the price cap.
The EU’s seafaring countries have until lately rejected the decision to ban Russia from shipping oil because of the great damage it would inflict on their economies.
"There is a lot of frustration with the problem being created here, as by many it is not considered to be on the same level given the economic hits that everyone else has been swallowing over the past months," an EU diplomat reportedly said.
The eighth package of sanctions against Russia may be announced by the EU leaders late this week at their informal summit in Prague.
In July, the European Union adopted the seventh package of sanctions against Moscow, which included include a ban on Russian gold imports and jewelry, among other things.
Days before, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote in an article for the EEAS website that sanctions against Russia are "effective" and that Moscow will eventually yield to the pressures exerted on its economic health. He said that the EU needs "strategic patience until Russia stops its aggression and Ukraine can recover its sovereignty in full."
Despite the sanctions and the partial embargo imposed on Russia's oil, the Russian economy has defied the odds in countering oppressive measures.
Russia has adopted several new strategies to counter punitive measures in recent months. It has relocated its oil and goods trade to BRICS members as well as some OPEC members, in order to rebalance its markets amid sanctions imposed by the West.
Also, the Bank of Russia is actively developing the Financial Message Transmission System.
Russia believes that a gradual shift from the SWIFT interbank payment system to more secure channels for sending financial information protected from external pressure is necessary, according to Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin in an interview for TASS.