Price cap on Russian oil exports 'unviable, unenforceable': Expert
Russia's exports are unlikely to be significantly impacted by the price ceiling the West set on Russian crude oil.
An international energy economist and visiting professor of energy economics at the ESCP Europe Business School in London, Mamdouh Salameh, the price cap imposed by the West on Russian crude oil is unlikely to have a significant impact on Russia's exports and will only result in more shortages on the global oil market.
The European Union set a limit on the price of Russian crude oil at $60 per barrel on December 5. Every two months, the cap will be examined to ensure that it is still 5% below the baseline set by the International Energy Agency.
Additionally, the G7 countries and Australia have set a $60 per barrel ceiling on Russian oil exports. "The Western price cap on Russian oil exports is neither viable nor enforceable. Therefore, it is doomed to fail miserably. It will only create confusion and add to shortages in the global oil market," the expert said.
Furthermore, Salameh said the cap won't have the desired impact on the Russian oil supply since Moscow can guarantee and insure its shipments without help from the West. "In addition, Russia can supply China, its biggest customer, via oil pipelines connecting both countries and also via the Northern Sea Route from the Russian Arctic to China, cutting shipping time by half," the expert told Sputnik.
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He explained that a dip in the price of Russia's Ural grade oil below the $60 price cap on the eve of its introduction could be attributed to uncertainty in the global oil market. "The fact that crude oil is never sold in the market at fixed prices has caused a lot of confusion for oil traders who neither want to sell their oil contracts at a loss, nor do they want to fall foul of sanctions," he added.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Western nations have been seeking methods to reduce Russia's revenue from oil and gas exports. The G7 finance ministers asked all countries to endorse the idea in September by confirming their determination to set a price ceiling on Russian oil.
The European Union introduced the eighth package of sanctions against Moscow in October, which included a legislative basis for setting a price cap for maritime shipments of Russian refined products starting from February 5, 2023.
In response to the West's decision to enact the price ceiling, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak stated that Moscow would not accept it. Only consumers who follow the rules of the market will be accepted by Russia, Novak continued.