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G7 Could Discuss Price Cap On Imports Of Russian Energy

The world’s leading industrial nations could discuss the idea of imposing price caps on imports of energy from Russia at a summit later this month, sources with knowledge of the plans told Bloomberg on Friday.

The leaders of the G7 group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the United States, are meeting in Germany between June 26 and 28.

Lead negotiators from those nations are preparing to include talks on price caps for Russian energy, although it’s not certain that the item will make the agenda, according to Bloomberg’s sources.

Last month, the G7 group committed to stopping all purchases of Russian oil following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although they did not specify how and when the halt of oil purchases from Moscow would happen. Since the latest G7 meeting, the EU has adopted a new package of sanctions against Russia, imposing an embargo on EU imports of Russian seaborne oil, to take effect within eight months.

Despite the sanctions, Russia enjoys handsome revenues from its oil and gas due to the high oil prices. So G7 leaders are looking at ways to cripple revenues from oil for Putin—revenues that are a vital part of Russia’s government income.

Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been one of the proponents of a price cap on Russian energy imports, but other countries are concerned that price caps would distort markets and lead to a Russian retaliation. 

Russia has been reducing this week natural gas flows to Germany, Italy, France, and other countries, just as the leaders of Germany, Italy, and France jointly visited Kyiv and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Moscow has said that the cut in Russian gas deliveries to European customers, which have agreed to the ruble-to-gas scheme Putin has demanded, is due to Siemens Energy delaying the return of a repaired gas turbine from Canada because of the sanctions on Russia. European leaders, however, say that Russia’s official explanation is a lie and that the lower deliveries are a political move from the Kremlin.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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