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G7 Invites Oil Importers To Consider Price Cap On Russian Oil

The G7 leaders have agreed to study ways to put a cap on the price of Russian oil sold internationally and are seeking support among "like-minded" nations.

"We invite all like-minded countries to consider joining us in our actions," G7 said in a communiqué cited by Reuters today.

The Russian oil price cap was one of the main items on the G7 agenda during this week's meeting, and initial reports from the event suggested the leaders of the world's biggest economies would produce an actual plan for capping prices. Instead, they are delaying these actions until they get more importers on board.

The G7 leaders also agreed to keep "working to make sure Russia does not exploit its position as an energy producer to profit from its aggression at the expense of vulnerable countries," per a Financial Times report.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is putting pressure on European countries to join the oil price cap to reduce Russia's income from energy exports without substantially affecting the availability of oil, Bloomberg reported.

Yellen met with the finance minister of Cyprus—a major maritime transport hub—earlier this week, during which they "spoke about the goal of placing a price limit on Russian oil to deprive the Kremlin of revenue to finance their war in Ukraine while mitigating spillover effects for the global economy," according to a Treasury statement.

According to energy analysts, however, effecting a price cap that will have the desired effect would be tricky. Citing Tamas Varga from PVM, Reuters noted in a report from earlier today that the fact that such a cap is being discussed shows that banning Russian oil outright has had the opposite effect of what it sought to do.

More than that, however, Russia's reaction should a cap be agreed upon is far from certain. Russia could decide to reduce oil and gas exports instead of playing along, Varga told Reuters, adding, "It is a nightmare scenario - both for Europe and Russia."

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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