Minor sanctions on Russian oil buyers are not ruled out

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The administration of US President Joe Biden has not ruled out imposing sanctions on countries that buy oil from Russia in the midst of the war in Ukraine, but will move cautiously because of the potential impact of the move on the global black gold market, he said yesterday. On Thursday, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

The United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have imposed embargoes on Russian oil following the Kremlin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. But Washington has not imposed so-called secondary sanctions on countries that buy Russian crude – as is the case with countries that buy quantities from Iran.

“The government will make decisions,” Ms Granholm said in a statement to reporters in Washington.

US sanctions are usually drawn up by the Treasury and Foreign Ministries, but the Department of Energy is involved and has a say when they have an impact on global oil prices.

Several countries, including India and China, continue to buy oil from Russia, which ultimately contributes to the financing of the war, says Washington.

India, the world’s third-largest importer of crude, boosted oil imports from Russia to about 277,000 barrels a day in April from 66,000 barrels in March. China has also increased its imports of discounted Russian oil.

Asked if secondary sanctions would be imposed, Ms Granholm said this was “not out of the question”.

But the move could boost fuel prices as the Biden administration worries about record-breaking gas stations despite its moves, such as the release of record quantities from strategic reserves, in an election year.

According to Granholm, the first package of Western sanctions on Russia reduced global supply by 1.5 million barrels per day and the EU plan to end Russian crude imports could remove another 1.5 million barrels. barrels per day until the end of the year.

“This would obviously create additional price pressures (…). “We do not want our citizens to be affected by high costs for the purchase of fuel,” said the US Secretary of Energy.

Source: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ

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