Alexey Gromov, Principal Director on Energy studies of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to the Novye Izvestia web portal on the current situation with the Western sanctions’ circumvention on the Russian oil cargo export.
According to Alexey Gromov, the drop in Russian oil supplies that occurred in October should not yet be considered the result of sanctions restrictions or a reflection of the marine companies fear before imposing secondary sanctions on them.
In his opinion, now "logistics optimization is working." Considering that the final consumer of Russian oil today is mainly India and China, with the beginning of the cold season, ice—class tankers will be used for oil transshipment. In October, the weather was quite warm, there was no deterioration in the ice situation, so such tankers were not required.
"Transshipment is seasonal. The peaks in the use of Russian oil tankers occur during the winter season. As a rule, deliveries should increase from November," the expert believes.
Alexey Gromov urged not to rush to conclusions about the possible systemic negative consequences of the imposition of sanctions against two tankers from Turkey and the UAE, whose owners purchased Russian oil at a price above the cap of $ 60 per barrel.
If the conflict is settled within a few weeks, which is unlikely, then new sanctions are possible.
"Will this continue to happen at the system level? It’s a big question. Today, it is dangerous for the EU and the US to act in this way: the risks of conflict escalation remain in the Middle East. And the containment of Russian oil sales is guaranteed to lead to a "crackdown" of prices on the market above $ 100 per barrel," the expert explained.
Alexey Gromov explains this forecast by the fact that amid falling global demand, the United States, following the principle of "divide and rule", expected to "squeeze" Russian oil exports, simultaneously starting to "lift" sanctions from Iran and Venezuela.
"If not, they will most likely be symbolic. A conditional "sword of Damocles" will appear if there is no actual application of punishments for circumventing sanctions," he believes.
However, after the aggravation of the situation in the Middle East that occurred on October 7, the United States was forced to respond to accusations against Iran and Venezuela that supported Palestine.
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