ATHENS – Greek shipping owners transporting Russian fossil fuels exempted from European Union sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine are unhappy about a $60 per barrel limit put on the price.
The cap was set by the EU, Australia and the G7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States that came into force to the displeasure of the oligarchs, said China’s state TV channel GCTN.
The shippers said the price ceiling is a sanction against a commodity that was not penalized and could further disrupt global oil markets, as Russia produces 10 percent of world’s output.
“This price cap has three objectives,” European Commisson President Ursula von der Leyen said. “First, it strengthens the effect of our sanctions. Second, it will diminish Russia’s revenues. And third, at the same time, it will stabilize global energy markets because it allows some Russian seaborne oil to be traded and transported by EU operators-to third countries – as long as it is sold below the cap,” the report also added.
While most of the EU’s 27 member states applauded the decision as the bloc is trying to wean off reliance on Russian supplies, the coastal countries of Malta, Greece and Cyprus said it would be damaging to the shipping industry.
“Any sort of intervention of the liberal flow of commodities affects the transporters,” maritime economist George Xiradakis told CGTN Europe. “The Greek shipping companies and shipping companies in general are worried. This price cap will lead to a price war between other oil producing countries,” he said.
Tanker fleets in Greece have been legally transporting Russian fossil fuels since the conflict in Ukraine began in February but some are upset that Greek ships are helping to fund Russia’s ongoing attack.
“Certainly the oil tanker market is at the moment enjoying a balance in supply and demand. That is what they have on their mind rather than what will happen with commodities and the price cap,” said Xiradakis.