EU drops plan to stop tankers moving Russian oil anywhere
The European Union is set to soften its sanctions package on Russian oil exports after a weekend of wrangling, though it aims to keep a key shipping provision that will hinder Moscow's ability to export its crude, Paralel.Az reports citing Bloomberg.
The bloc will drop a proposed ban on EU-owned vessels transporting Russian oil to third countries, according to documents seen by Bloomberg and people familiar with the matter. Critically, a prohibition on insurance is still in the works and would remain a significant impediment to exports.
Greece, whose economy is heavily reliant on shipping, was among the member states that pushed the provision on exporting to third countries to be dropped from the EU's sixth package of sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the people said. The lack of a single position among Group of Seven (G7) nations was central to the proposal being dropped.
The measure would have further dented Moscow's exports — a vital source of hard currency — especially given that Greeks own more than a quarter of the world's oil tankers by capacity.
But current proposals will nevertheless make life considerably harder for Moscow, assuming they are adopted. The ban on providing insurance would span the vast majority of the global fleet of oil tankers seeking to transport Russian barrels.