By Tsvetana Paraskova of OilPrice.com
Russia is adapting to the increasingly stricter U.S. sanctions on trade with Russian oil and is acting in accordance with its own interests, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday, commenting on reports that the United States was looking into punishing more vessels breaching the G7 price cap on Russia’s crude.
The price cap mechanism set by the G7 and the EU says that Russian crude shipments to third countries can use Western insurance and financing if cargoes are sold at or below the $60-a-barrel ceiling. The measure took effect at the end of 2022 when the EU imposed an embargo on imports of Russian crude oil.
But Western officials are reportedly increasingly concerned that Russia could be selling most of its crude above the price cap.
Last month, the United States took a tougher stance on the sanctions against Russia and sanctioned two vessels for violating the price cap.
The U.S. is also reportedly working to further clamp down on price cap evasion.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has requested information from ship management companies about 100 tankers suspected of violating the sanctions on Russian oil, Reuters reported earlier this week, citing a source who has seen the notices the Treasury has sent. The tankers under scrutiny have loaded Russian crude from the Far Eastern port of Kozmino and from the port of Primorsk on the Baltic Sea, according to the source.
“While we do not confirm or comment on investigations or enforcement actions, Treasury is committed to enforcing the price cap and reducing Russia’s resources for its war against Ukraine,” a spokesperson for the Treasury told Reuters.
Commenting on the report, the Kremlin spokesman said, as carried by Russian news agency TASS, “Sure, we understand that the American authorities continue to press for more sanctions in one form or another.”
“But we adapt to these conditions and act in a way that best suits our interests,” Peskov told reporters in Moscow on Tuesday.