Brussels is expected to delay full implementation of the measure and weaken some provisions
EU leaders have reportedly softened their proposed legislation on imposing a price cap on Russian oil exports. Full implementation of the policy will now be delayed, and key shipping provisions weakened, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing an internal document.
EU ambassadors are set to meet on Wednesday, seeking to approve the measure after discussions with allies, two weeks before the price cap is scheduled to take effect.
Brussels has reportedly proposed adding a 45-day transition period to the punitive measure. Under the plan, the grace period would apply to crude loaded before December 5, when oil-related sanctions come into effect, and unloaded by January 19. The alterations align the bloc to a clause previously announced by the US and UK.
If the proposal is approved, the EU and the Group of Seven rich nations could confirm the cap as early as Wednesday. Under the provision, Western companies would be banned from providing insurance, brokering and financial assistance to vessels loaded with Russian crude, unless the cargo is purchased below an agreed price.
The price limit reportedly under consideration ranges between $40 and $60 a barrel, which could allow Russia’s production to remain at pre-sanctions levels, but reduce its oil revenue. The currently debated cap would likely be slightly above that, according to people familiar with recent talks, as cited by the agency.
The paper seen by Bloomberg also states that transporters that “intentionally” ship Russian crude oil or petroleum products above the cap will be banned from receiving services related to the transport of Russian fuel “for 90 days following the date of unloading of the cargo purchased above the price cap.”
In addition, Brussels is reportedly planning to introduce a 90-day transition period in the event of any future changes to the level of the price limit.
The ceiling would be set using historical price data for Russian crude and the current situation on global oil markets, a senior US Treasury official told the agency, adding that the price could be revisited as frequently as every few months.
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