Russia has rejected a $60 price target for oil imposed by Ukraine’s European allies and warned of a backlash after President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said it was “very comfortable” for Moscow amid pressure from Kyiv to ease the cap.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday that Russia would not accept a price hike, adding that it must analyze the situation before deciding on a real solution.
The EU, G7 and Australia on Saturday agreed to a $60 barrel price for Russian oil. It will come into effect on December 5.
“The G7 and all EU member states have made a decision that will significantly disrupt Russia’s finances and reduce its ability to fight in Ukraine,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.
“It will also help us establish global electricity prices, benefiting countries around the world that are facing high oil prices,” he said.
But Russia’s representative to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, warned that European cup supporters would oppose their decision.
“From this year, Europe will live without Russian oil,” Ulyanov wrote on Twitter. “Moscow has already said that it will not supply oil to countries that support anti-market prices. Wait, soon the EU will accuse Russia of using oil as a weapon.”
Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, from Moscow, said that Russia planned this election in advance. “Russia knows that it has to use other means of obtaining oil from countries that will not agree to sign this resolution,” Vall said.
Russia’s biggest oil buyers – China and India – have not given up on the oil crisis.
Under Friday’s agreements, insurance companies and other companies that need to export oil can handle Russian pollution if the oil is at a price or below the cap. Most insurers are based in the EU and the United Kingdom and may be required to maintain a ceiling.
Russian crude has already been trading at around $60 a barrel, a big discount from the international benchmark Brent, which closed on Friday at $85.42 a barrel.
The EU will also suspend all imports of Russian oil from February 5. The G7 price for petroleum will be set again the next day, using the same method as for crude oil, the Commission said.
The price tag seeks to destabilize Russia’s economy and increase its ability to support a war that has killed countless civilians and combatants, driven millions of Ukrainians from their homes and strained the global economy for nine months.
The President of Ukraine said that the price of $60 is not “dangerous”.
“Russia has already caused great losses to all the countries of the world by deliberately disrupting the energy market,” he said in his speech at night, describing the price decision as a “weak point”.
It is “the only time when strong weapons should be used”, Zelenskyy added. “It’s a shame that this time will be lost.”
Kyiv said they offered less than $30 to “quickly destroy the enemy’s assets”.
Speaking from Kyiv, Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands said that Ukraine has called for a lower price and said that the EU and the Group of Seven leading countries did not go far enough.
“Ukraine has been calling since the beginning of the Russian invasion to stop the ban on all Russian energy assets,” Challands said.
“Decreasing price of Russian marine oil, Ukraine – not far.”
The bullets continue
Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that since Friday the Russian military fired five missiles, carried out 27 attacks and launched 44 shells against Ukrainian military facilities and infrastructure.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the presidential office, said that the terrorists killed one person and injured four others in the eastern region of Donetsk in Ukraine.
In southern Ukraine’s Kherson region, whose capital of the same name was liberated by Ukrainian forces three weeks ago following a Russian retreat, Governor Yaroslav Yanushkevich said the evacuation of civilians who had been living in Russian territory across the Dnieper River would resume temporarily. .
Russian troops returned to the east bank of the river last month. Mr. Yanushkevich said the ban on crossing the river would be lifted during the day for three days for Ukrainian citizens who “did not have time to leave the area where people have been temporarily living”.
Ukrainian officials reported heavy fighting in Luhansk and Russian shelling in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv, from which Russian troops withdrew in September.