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Zelensky slams West’s Russian oil cap as ‘weak’

Kremlin official threatens to ‘chase’ Zelensky ‘all over the world’

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President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that the £48 per barrel price cap on seaborne Russian crude oil is “weak”. The move by allies is an attempt to prevent countries from paying over £48 per barrel for Russian oil and adds pressure on Russia from the West over its invasion of Ukraine.

Despite the move from the West which aimed to help Ukraine, President Zelensky said it was “a weak position” and not severe or “seriousness” enough to truly damage the Russian economy.

In his nightly video address, Zelensky said: “Russia has already caused huge losses to all countries of the world by deliberately destabilising the energy market.”

He added: “[It is] only a matter of time when stronger tools will have to be used.”

The G7 nations (US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, EU) suggested the energy price cap in September.

Ukraine’s allies have consistently designed methods of limiting Russia’s ability to finance its war in Ukraine since the invasion in February.

The G7 group said the price cap was proposed to “prevent Russia from profiting from its war of aggression against Ukraine.”

According to the Kremlin, Russia have rejected the oil cap, saying it “will not accept” it and is busy drawing up a suitable response.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman announced that preparations were made ahead of Friday’s price cap announcement, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

RIA news quoted Peskov saying, “we will not accept this cap” and he added that Moscow will analyse the agreement and then respond.

On Saturday, posts on social media by Mikhail Ulyanov, Moscow’s ambassador to international organisations in Vienna, declared that Russia will refuse to supply oil to nations which implement the cap.

He added: “Starting from this year Europe will live without Russian oil.”

Russia’s embassy in the United States published comments on Telegram saying that the price cap was a “dangerous” move from the West and Moscow is left unfazed as it will find more buyers for its oil.

“Steps like these, will inevitably result in increasing uncertainty and imposing higher costs for raw materials’ consumers.

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

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Nations which are not implementing the cap may still suffer from it as shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies are prohibited from handling cargoes of Russian crude across the globe unless it is sold for less than £48.

Even to nations which are not following the cap, the shipment of Russian crude oil will be complicated by this.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen supported the cap saying that it will benefit low- and medium-income nations which have suffered heavily from increasing energy and food prices.

Yellen said: “With Russia’s economy already contracting and its budget increasingly stretched thin, the price cap will immediately cut into Putin’s most important source of revenue.”

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