Russia rejects $60-a-barrel cap on its oil, warns of cutoffs

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) – Russian officials have denied the purchase price with the country’s oil imposed by Western supporters of Ukraine and threatened on Saturday to stop supplying the nations that supported it.

Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, the United States and 27 European Union countries agreed on Friday to hide what they would pay for Russian oil at $60-a-barrel. The limit is set to come into force on Monday, along with an EU ban on Russian seaborne oil.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia needs to analyze the situation before deciding on a specific response but will not accept a price ceiling. Russia’s permanent ambassador to international organizations in Vienna, Mikhail Ulyanov, warned that European supporters would undermine their decision.

“From this year, Europe will live without Russian oil,” Ulyanov wrote on Twitter. “Moscow has already made it clear that it will not supply oil to countries that support anti-market prices. Wait, soon the EU will accuse Russia of using oil as a weapon.”

Meanwhile, the office of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called Saturday for a lower price, saying that the one approved by the EU and the Group of Seven leading economies did not go far.

“It will be necessary to lower it to $ 30 in order to quickly destroy the enemy’s economy,” Andriy Yermak, the head of Zelenskyy’s office, wrote on Telegram, highlighting the position that is also favored by Poland – the main critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. war in Ukraine.

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Under Friday’s agreements, insurance companies and other firms required to export oil would be able to deal with Russian defaults if oil is bought at or below the cap. Many insurers exist in the EU and the United Kingdom and may be required to maintain a ceiling.

Russian crude is already trading at $60 a barrel, which is a deep discount from the international benchmark Brent, which closed Friday at $85.42 a barrel.

The Russian Embassy in Washington insisted that Russian oil “will continue to be in demand” and criticized the price limit as “changing the principles of free market operation.” An article published in the embassy’s Telegraph channel predicted that the cap on each barrel would lead to “widespread uncertainty and higher costs for consumers of raw materials.”

“What happens in China will help shape whether prices have teeth,” said Jim Burkhard, an oil markets analyst with IHS Markit. He said that reduced demand from China means that most of Russia’s imports are already selling for less than $60.

The price hike aims to put economic pressure on Russia and reduce its ability to support the war. which killed an untold number of civilians and fighters, drove millions of Ukrainians from their homes and weighed down the world economy for more than nine months.

The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reported that since Friday Russian forces fired five missiles, carried out 27 airstrikes and launched 44 attacks against Ukrainian military positions and buildings. the community.

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Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the president’s office, said the attacks killed one civilian and injured four others in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine. According to the UK Ministry of Defence, Russian forces “continue to invest a large part of their overall military effort and firepower” around the small Donestsk city of Bakhmut, which they have spent weeks trying to to capture you.

In the southern Ukrainian province of Kherson, whose capital of the same name was liberated by Ukrainian forces three weeks ago after the return of Russia.Governor Yaroslav Yanushkevich said the evacuation of civilians living in the territory occupied by Russia across the Dnieper River will continue for a while.

Russian forces returned to the east bank of the river last month. Yanushkevich said the ban on crossing the waterway will be lifted during the day for three days for Ukrainian citizens who “don’t have time to leave the temporarily occupied territory.” His announcement cited a “potential escalation of hostilities in the region.”

Kherson is one of four areas that Putin officially declared in September and vowed to protect as Russian territory. From their new positions, Russian soldiers have been attacking the city of Kherson and the surrounding buildings in recent days, leaving many residents without power. Running water remained unavailable in most of the town – and one resident was seen fetching water from a dirty well.

The city continued to be hit by heavy shelling on Saturday that left many residents confused, downed power lines and threw branches of cut trees onto the roads.

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“When we start repairing (the power grid), the shells start immediately,” said Oleksandr Kravchenko, who oversees the Kherson high-voltage grid. “We just fix the wiring and the next day we have to fix the wiring again.”

Ukrainian officials also reported heavy fighting in Luhansk and Russian artillery in northeastern Ukraine’s Kharkiv, from which Russian troops withdrew in September.

The mayor of the city of Kharkiv, which was still under Ukrainian control when Russia annexed parts of the region, said about 500 apartment buildings were damaged beyond repair. , and about 220 schools and kindergartens were damaged or destroyed. He estimated the cost of the damage at $9 billion.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met on Saturday in Minsk with the president and Defense Minister of Belarus, which has Russian troops and artillery. Belarus has said its forces are not taking part in the fighting, but Ukrainian officials have repeatedly expressed concern that they could be pushed across the border into northern Ukraine.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the meeting that his forces and Russian forces are training in cooperation. “We are ready as one team, one army. Everyone knows it. We were not hiding it,” he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.


Inna Varenytsia in Kherson, Ukraine, and Frank Bajak in Boston contributed to this report.


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