Russian crude oil tanker: archive photo of the tanker »Vladimir Monomakh« from 2020
Photo: Press Office of the Zvezda Shipy / ITAR-TASS / IMAGO
The Russian President had actually planned a harsh reaction: After the G7 countries, the EU and Australia had agreed on a price cap of 60 dollars per barrel of Russian oil, he announced that such sales would be blocked.
But according to research by the »Financial Times« (»FT«) there has been no sign of this so far.
The price cap has been in effect since December 5th.
As the newspaper reports, it used cargo data to identify seven tankers that have since loaded Russian crude oil in Baltic ports.
Refineries in India are specified as destinations.
In total, the tankers are said to have around five million barrels of oil on board.
The basis for such transport is valid insurance cover.
According to »FT«, the ships are insured with Western companies.
However, since the agreement came into force, Western insurance and brokerage services can only be used if the shipping companies can prove that they are paying less than $60 per barrel.
According to the newspaper, it checked the insurance cover, and for two ships it was only adjusted to the current conditions last week.
The Singaporean operator of the tanker "Ruby Phoenix" is quoted as saying: "We have received the necessary certification from our contractual partners that the cargo in question complies with the price caps." The other owners did not respond to inquiries.
The newspaper writes that the number of ships involved could be even higher, but in the other cases it is not absolutely clear whether the cargo is really Russian crude oil.
Hope the cap works
The Kremlin announced on Thursday that a decree from President Putin on the subject is expected in the coming days.
This should determine the reaction to the price cap.
Shortly after the decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that preparations had been made for the step: "We will not accept this upper limit."
Currently, a large part of Russian oil is sold at prices below the ceiling.
Shortly before this began, the market price of the Ural variety was around 65 dollars.
Market observers are therefore hoping that the price cap could actually work.
In addition to a political freeze on deliveries by Russia, various market distortions were also feared.
With the price cap, the signatory states want to make it more difficult for Moscow to finance its war of aggression against Ukraine.
The agreement stipulates that China and India, for example, can continue to import Russian oil, but only at the maximum price that has now been decided.
The limit should also apply if the countries only handle or accompany the sale for third parties.