Foreign Shipping Companies Could Help Russia Evade Oil Sanctions

(Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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Chinese, Turkish and United Arab Emirates shipping firms are moving to acquire more tankers that are capable of transporting Russian oil across the frozen seas this winter, which could help Russia evade the proposed Western price cap on its oil, Bloomberg reported.

The shippers spent roughly $1 billion on tankers that can operate in ice-filled seas from May to August, five times the amount they spent on winter tankers in 2021, according to Bloomberg. The companies were the main buyers of the tankers as they look to transport Russian fuel outside of Europe during the winter due to the West’s efforts to step up sanctions on Russian energy exports. (RELATED: Putin Threatens To Halt All Energy Exports If West Imposes Price Cap)

The European Union (EU), a major consumer of Russian oil, is set to ban Russian crude transported via the seas at the end of 2022, meaning that Chinese, Turkish and United Arab Emirates firms could look to transport oil from the Baltic sea to countries that do hold sanctions against Russian imports.

The Group of Seven wealthy democracies is also moving forward with a plan to slash Russian oil profits by preventing businesses from insuring or financing Russian fuel shipments unless they are sold under a stipulated price that is lower than market value. The U.S. and its allies are hoping to use the shipping industry to force Russia to sell its oil for a cut price or not sell it at all.

LNG (Liquefied natural gas) tanker Rudolf Samoylovich, sailing under the flag of Bahamas, moors at the dock of the Montoir-de-Bretagne LNG Terminal near Saint-Nazaire, western France, on March 10, 2022. (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

China expressed opposition to the G7 price cap on Sept. 5; however, the U.S. hopes that it will at least take advantage of the price cap to buy Russian oil for cheap. China began buying increased quantities of Russian crude oil following the invasion of Ukraine and is accounting for a substantial portion of Russia’s seaborne oil exports, according to the BBC.

President Joe Biden banned Russian energy imports in March to weaken Russia’s economy; however, Russia is making more money off its oil sales than it did before Western sanctions and its oil exports have not dropped significantly as the West hoped.

The European Commission did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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