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Europeans will have to pay more if EU slaps duties on Russian oil, warns Kremlin

Buyers of oil will have to look for alternative sources, Dmitry Peskov pointed out

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. European buyers of Russian oil will have to pay more or look for alternative sources if the EU imposes duties on oil supplies from Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday. He was commenting on Washington’s proposal to slap duties on Russian oil in Europe. The US is expected to put that forward at an upcoming meeting of G7 finance chiefs. Peskov noted that "this is a matter of economic feasibility."

"Buyers of oil will have to pay more or look for alternative sources," he said.

On Tuesday, US Treasury officials announced that Washington would propose introducing duties on Russian-supplied oil to the EU at the coming meeting of G7 finance ministers later this week. They said this could be a faster-working alternative than the idea of a total embargo on Russian oil.

According to US officials, the tariff mechanism will enable the presence of Russian oil on the market to remain, but would limit the income Russia receives from exports. They believe that such a measure will provide a more rapid effect than the ban set for 2023 on Russian oil imports to EU countries.

So far, the permanent representatives of the EU countries cannot reach an agreement on the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, which includes a draft delayed oil embargo.

The European Commission (EC) proposed prohibiting imports of oil and petroleum products from Russia six months after the sixth package comes into force, which is from 2023.

The EC also put forward a proposal to allow Hungary and Slovakia to purchase Russian oil until the end of 2024. According to sources, the European Commission has already had to back down on a number of its initiatives regarding the timing of introducing the embargo, its parameters and possible exemptions to the oil embargo. Hungary opposes the oil ban, with the support of a number of other countries which believe that the damage from this measure would be catastrophic for Europe.