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G-7 nations impose price cap on refined Russian oil products

MarketWatch logo MarketWatch 2/3/2023
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

BRUSSELS — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Friday that industrialized countries in the Group of Seven are imposing a price cap on refined Russian oil products such as diesel and kerosene, as part of a coalition that includes Australia and a tentative agreement from the European Union.

The cap follows similar price limits put on Russian oil exports, with the goal of reducing the financial resources Russian President Vladimir Putin has to wage the nearly year-long war in Ukraine.

“Today’s agreement builds on the price cap on Russian crude oil exports that we set in December and helps advance our goals of limiting Russia’s key revenue generator in funding its illegal war while promoting stable global energy markets,” Yellen said in a statement.

On Friday, EU governments tentatively agreed to set a $100-per-barrel price cap on sales of Russian diesel to coincide with an EU embargo on the fuel. Diplomats representing the 27 EU governments set the cap on Russian diesel fuel, jet fuel and gasoline ahead of a ban taking effect Sunday. It aims to reduce Russia’s income while keeping its diesel flowing to non-Western countries to avoid a global shortage that would send prices and inflation higher.

Details about the cap were provided by a G-7 statement and diplomats from three different EU member nations, who agreed to discuss the cap on the condition of anonymity.

The $100-per-barrel cap applies to Russian diesel and other fuels that sell for more than the crude oil used to make them. Officials agreed on a $45-per-barrel limit on Russian oil products that sell for less than the price of crude.

The ambassadors of the 27 EU nations put forward the decision, and national governments have until early Saturday to react with a written objection. No changes to the deal were expected.

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