1: on friday, the western allies of ukraine president volodymyr zelensky approved a price cap of $60 (â£48) for a barrel of seaborne russian crude oil. the measure was put forward in september by the g7 group of industrialised nations (the us, canada, the uk, france, germany, italy, japan and the eu) in a bid to hit moscow’s ability to finance the war in ukraine. president zelensky criticised the price cap, calling it “weak”.
2: the agreement of the price cap comes just days before an eu-wide ban on russian crude oil imported by sea comes into force, also on 5 december. the price cap – which is meant to affect oil exports worldwide – is meant to complement that. russia has said it will not accept the cap, and has prepared for the move.
3: before the war, in 2021, more than half of russia’s oil exports went to europe, according to the international energy association. germany was the largest importer, followed by the netherlands and poland. the western allies are attempting to decrease their dependency on russian oil by introducing the price cap and banning insurance to tankers delivering russian oil to countries that do not stick to the price cap. the us has already banned russian crude oil, while the uk plans to phase it out by the end of the year.