The U.S. really wants Russian oil to flow in the market.

Mar 21, 2023

The website of Russia Today TV quoted a report from the British "Financial Times" as saying that the United States privately urged some of the world's largest commodity traders to dispel concerns and resume shipments of Russian oil whose prices have been capped by the West to keep supplies stable, and regain some oversight of Russian exports.


U.S. Treasury Department officials met with executives and traders at commodity trading firms including Trafigura and Gunvor, according to people familiar with the matter, and to provide assurances to these companies that they can expand their role in Russia's crude oil and fuel trade without violating Western sanctions.


According to the report, although Washington has never objected to trading Russian oil within the price limit agreed by the G7. But big independent oil traders have been cautious amid Western sanctions. "We're now being actively encouraged by the America ... that we're going to get back into Russian oil shipments," said a trader who met with U.S. Treasury Department officials.


The US made the assurances in recent weeks in meetings with major independent oil traders. Before that, Russia had threatened to cut oil supply this month.


The Biden administration led the Group of Seven (G7) nations to develop sanctions against Russian oil. In December 2022, the G7 imposed a price cap of $60 a barrel on Russian oil. But at the same time, the United States is also trying to keep Russian oil flowing to international markets, fearing the fallout from a collapse in supply from one of the world's largest energy exporters.


The article stated that considering the importance of Russia's energy resources, the United States' goal is only to try to reduce Russia's energy revenue, not to block supply. Moreover, after the withdrawal of large traders, Russian oil transactions are increasingly conducted through small and medium traders, which is more difficult for the United States to monitor.


While traders in the EU and G7 countries need documents proving that Russian oil deals comply with the price cap, the Financial Times quoted traders as saying that enforcement in the United States was relatively lax. "The Americans really want Russian oil to flow," said a trader.