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Russian Exchange Launches Oil Trade In Crimea

The St Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) started crude oil trading with loading at Crimea, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing data published by SPIMEX.

The mercantile exchange, which has already launched trade in stable gas condensate for loading at Crimea, hasn’t revealed the sellers of the oil in the trade for lifting at the peninsula.

Chernomorneftegaz, a company producing oil and gas in Crimea, owns one of the bases for delivery, according to the exchange data reported by Reuters.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has led to multiple disputes between the two countries and to sanctions imposed on Moscow for the 2014 annexation.

Earlier this month, the General Court of the European Union upheld sanctions imposed on several Russian oil companies and banks after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis.

“The General Court of the EU upholds restrictive measures adopted by the Council against a number of Russian banks and oil and gas companies in connection with the crisis in Ukraine,” the court said in a statement.

The EU initially imposed sanctions on Russian energy companies and banks, including Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Sberbank, and VTB Bank. Later, the EU tightened the punitive measures after Russia offered military support for anti-government rebels in eastern Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine and Russia are locked in a dispute over the rights to oil and gas resources offshore Crimea, but Russia is disputing the jurisdiction of The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in the court case. Ukraine served the Russian Federation with a claim at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in September 2016, referring to a dispute between the two countries over the coastal state rights in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov, and Kerch Strait. Ukraine claims that it has the right to resources in those areas, which were violated by Russia with the annexation of Crimea.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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