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G7 countries to continue examining possible ways of using frozen Russian assets

G7 countries are also set to take measures to counter alleged attempts to circumvent its price cap on Russian oil

WASHINGTON, April 18. /TASS/. G7 countries will continue examining the possible use of immobilized Russian assets under their jurisdictions for supporting Ukraine, G7 finance ministers and Central Bank chiefs said in a joint statement after a meeting in Washington.

"Russia’s sovereign assets in our jurisdictions will remain immobilized," the document says. "We will continue working on all possible avenues by which immobilized Russian sovereign assets could be made use of to support Ukraine."

The financial officials will update G7 leaders on the issue in the run-up to the G7 Summit in Italy’s Apula in June.

The sides also welcomed the EU proposals to direct the extraordinary revenues stemming from Russia’s sovereign immobilized assets for the benefit of Ukraine. They also welcomed the steps taken by the UK and US to impose restrictions on the trade of Russian base metals on their global metal exchanges.

The EU, the US, Japan and Canada have frozen Russian assets worth a total amount of around $300 bln. Around $5-6 bln of these assets are held at US securities depositories, while the bulk of the assets are in Europe, including at the Euroclear international securities depository in Belgium.

Earlier, the European Commission greenlighted a proposal on using revenues from blocked Russian funds for aid to Kiev. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the initiative meant using 90% of Russia’s revenues to purchase shells for Ukraine and putting the other 10% into the EU’s budget for further support of Ukraine’s military and industrial complex. The first transfer could be made as early as in July. Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said earlier that if the West used frozen Russian assets the Bank of Russia would take respective measures to protect its interests.

Governor of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said at the end of March that if the West uses frozen Russian assets, the Bank of Russia will take appropriate measures to protect its interests.

Price cap on Russian oil

G7 countries are also set to take measures to counter alleged attempts to circumvent its price cap on Russian oil.

According to the document, G7 nations "remain committed to taking further enforcement actions in response to oil price cap violations."

This includes "sanctioning those engaged in deceptive practices while transporting Russian oil" and taking action against unspecified "networks" that Russia had allegedly "developed to extract additional revenues from evasion."

At the same time, the officials claimed that the oil price cap "has been successful in supporting stability in energy markets."

The document also claims that Western sanctions imposed on Russia "have reduced its capacity" to engage in military actions and allegedly "significantly affected its economy."

"We remain committed to implementing and enforcing further financial and economic sanctions and to countering attempts to evade or circumvent our measures, including by taking action against third-country actors who seek to undermine them, where appropriate," the G7 finance chiefs said. "We will continue to develop measures to prevent Russia from acquiring advanced materials, technology, and equipment for its military industrial base."

The EU countries, the Group of Seven (G7), and Australia, on December 5, 2022, together with the embargo, set a price cap on Russian oil at $60 per barrel, prohibiting their subordinate ships and territories from transporting by sea and insuring oil sold above this level. From February 5, 2023, similar restrictions began to apply to the supply of oil products from Russia, with their maximum price set at $100 and $45 per barrel, depending on the category. Russia, in turn, stated that it does not recognize the conditions of the price cap, and that its companies will not supply oil to countries under this mechanism.

Meanwhile, based on the results of 2023, the majority of both Russian and world experts came to the conclusion that the price cap does not work. According to the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, the average price for Urals oil in February was $69 per barrel.