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The U.S.-led price cap on Russian oil exports has “significantly” cut revenues from oil sales for Russia, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday.
The G7 price cap on Russian oil has “significantly reduced Russian revenue over the last 10 months while promoting stable energy markets,” Reuters quoted Yellen as saying at a news conference during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Morocco.
The price cap of $60 per barrel of Russian crude oil set by the G7 and the EU says that Russian crude shipments to third countries can use Western insurance and financing if cargoes are sold at or below the $60-a-barrel ceiling. The measure took effect at the end of 2022 when the EU imposed an embargo on imports of Russian crude oil.
“We must continue to impose severe and increasing costs on Russia and continue efforts to ensure Russia pays for the damage it has caused,” Yellen said today.
The U.S. Treasury Secretary also said that the U.S. government had not in any way relaxed sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, Bloomberg’s energy and commodities columnist Javier Blas reported.
Analysts have attributed the recent surge in Iranian oil production and exports – especially increased shipments to China – to weaker enforcement of the U.S. sanctions.
If the Hamas-Israel war escalates and Israel is to blame Iran for either direct or indirect involvement in this weekend’s attack by Hamas on Israel, the enforcement of the U.S. sanctions against Iranian oil trade could be tightened, according to analysts.
“The softer approach from the US is likely due to concern over rising energy prices. However, it would be difficult to see the US maintaining this stance if Iran is connected to these attacks, whether directly or indirectly,” Warren Patterson, Head of Commodities Strategy at ING, said earlier this week.
By Tsvetana Paraskova
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.