Russia has announced that it will not comply with the EU agreement on capping the price of its oil barrel at 60 dollars.
L’agreement sealed by the countries of the EU, the G7 and Australia around a cap on the price of Russian gas does not pass with Moscow. “We will not accept this ceiling,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press, quoted by Russian agencies. However, he said that Moscow had “prepared” upstream “for such a ceiling”, without giving further details. This agreement aims to limit the means of Moscow allocated to the financing of its offensive in Ukraine.
In the morning, kyiv was satisfied with such a binding mechanism, wanting to believe sooner or later in the “destruction” of the Russian economy under the weight of international sanctions. “We always reach our goal and Russia’s economy will be destroyed, and it will pay and be responsible for all its crimes,” welcomed the chief of staff of the Ukrainian presidency, Andriï Yermak.
A maximum price of $60 per barrel of oil
On Friday, the 27 countries of the European Union, the G7 and Australia had agreed on “a maximum price of 60 US dollars for crude oil of Russian origin transported by sea”, according to the terms of a joint press release. Mr. Iermak noted, however, that “it would have been necessary to lower (the ceiling price) to 30 dollars to destroy (the Russian economy) even more quickly”.READ ALSO Gas: how Europe fell into Putin’s trapThe price of a barrel of Russian oil (crude from the Urals) is currently fluctuating around 65 dollars, barely above the European ceiling, implying a limited impact in the short term. The mechanism will come into force on Monday “or very soon after”, said the G7 and Australia. It is also on this day that the EU embargo begins on Russian oil transported by sea, which will already eliminate two thirds of its crude purchases from Russia.
Thus, only oil sold by Moscow at a price equal to or less than 60 dollars can continue to be delivered. Beyond this ceiling, it will be prohibited for companies to provide services allowing maritime transport (freight, insurance, etc.). Germany and Poland having also decided to stop their deliveries via an oil pipeline by the end of the year, in addition to the European embargo, total Russian imports will be affected by more than 90%, according to Europeans.READ ALSO “Russian disinformation on shale gas has worked”
“Coping” in Ukraine
Ukrainian authorities have again urged civilians to cope despite deteriorating living conditions. Several times a day, power cuts plunge millions of Ukrainians into darkness, not to mention the cold that settles in their homes.
Temperatures in some areas have been around -5°C in recent days, and the perceived temperature can be even lower. “We have to hold on,” Vitaliï Kim, governor of the Mykolaiv region (south), told Ukrainian television. He announced “four-hour” cuts in his region to deal with “rising (electricity) consumption” which threatens to overload the regional energy network.READ ALSO energy warsOn the ground, the fighting is “hard” in the east of the country because “the Russians have had time to prepare” for the attacks by troops from kyiv, said the governor of the Luhansk region, Serguiï Gaïdaï. In Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region, AFP heard four loud explosions on Saturday afternoon and then saw a huge plume of black smoke over the city. The target of the strikes, however, remained unknown at this stage.READ ALSO Gas, inflation… Europeans are preparing for the stormAccording to a bulletin from the Ukrainian presidency, the situation is also “difficult” near Bakhmout, a city in the Donetsk region that the Russians have been trying in vain to conquer since the summer. The battle around Bakhmout has in recent days taken on all the more symbolic importance for Moscow as its conquest would come after a series of humiliating defeats, with the retreats from Kharkiv (northeast) in September and Kherson (south) in November .
Near kyiv, the Ukrainian police also managed to thwart an attempt on Friday to steal a work by the famous British artist Banksy, representing an individual wearing a gas mask. “Eight people”, “all between 27 and 60”, were arrested according to the police in Hostomel, where Banksy had painted this work on the facade of a destroyed building in early November.
READ ALSOGermans urged to save energy at home, on the road and at work