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Price cap for Russian oil reshapes basic free market principles — Russian embassy

According to Russian diplomats, Washington is trying to hush up the fact that the current misbalance on the global oil market results from its own actions
Russian Embassy in the US Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Russian Embassy in the US
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

WASHINGTON, December 3. /TASS/. The price cap for Russian oil, introduced by the United States and its partners, means in practice that the basic principles of the free market are being reshaped, the Russian embassy to the United States said in a statement.

"We took notice of the U.S. administration’s arrogant claims regarding the agreement with its partners on the notorious "price cap" on Russian oil," the embassy said. "Strategists in Washington, hiding behind noble slogans of ensuring energy security for developing countries, maintain a wall of silence on the fact that current imbalances on the energy markets stem from their ill-conceived actions. First of all - the introduction of sanctions against Russia and bans on energy imports from our country."

"With a tenacity worthy of a better application, the collective West is trying to resolve the issues it itself impetuously created," the document continues. "In fact, we are witnessing a reshaping of the basic principles of free markets."

According to Russian diplomats, "steps like these will inevitably result in increasing uncertainty and imposing higher costs for raw materials’ consumers."

"Moreover, from now on no country is immune to the introduction of all sorts of "caps" on its exports, rolled out for political reasons," they added.

"Regardless of the current flirtations with the dangerous and illegitimate instrument, we are confident that Russian oil will continue to be in demand," the statement concludes.

Members of the Group of Seven (G7) and Australia said in a joint statement on Saturday they had agreed to set the price cap on Russian oil at the level of $60 per barrel. The decision is to enter into force "on 5 December 2022 or very soon thereafter." A similar decision regarding Russian petroleum products is to go into effect on February 5, 2023. Maximum prices will be announced separately later.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 12 that Moscow was not going to pay for somebody else’s prosperity and export its energy resources to those who impose price caps on them. He called the practice of price caps "cardsharp tricks" and "flagrant blackmail." Apart from that, in his speech at the Russian Energy Week, the president warned that price capping oil is fraught with the risks of setting price caps in other sectors, which is harmful for the global market economy and the wellbeing of billions of people.