Canada, the US and Japan supported the desire to limit as much as possible the revenues of the Russian Federation and thus weaken its ability to finance the war against Ukraine. The G7 countries plan to impose a cap on the prices of Russian oil and oil products. Given the EU and UK embargoes, recalls Czech Ambassador for Energy Security Václav Bartuska, this should be an effective tool on the way to achieving the goal.
The EU and the UK embargoed Russian oil and its insurance back in spring. Now the circle of embargo participants has expanded to Canada, the United States and Japan. All together these countries control 90% of the world oil and oil products insurance market.

  • The main goal is not to stop Russia’s oil exports. It is about depriving it of revenues. When tanker insurance opportunities decreased, China, India and other countries got huge discounts from Russia – about $40 per barrel. The rationale behind the G7 decision is the same – to force Russia to sell its oil to Third World countries at a steep discount.

The Czech Republic, according to the Ministry of Industry, annually received 3.5 million tons of oil from Russia. Does the country already have alternative suppliers for this volume of this raw material?

  • The sixth sanctions package adopted in June allows the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary to import Russian oil through pipelines. In agreement with Germany, Austria and Italy the capacity of the TAL pipeline has been increased. I hope that within two years we will be able to bring oil supplies from the West in line with our needs. The temporary exemption from the ban on receiving Russian oil products is valid until the end of next year. Oil imports as such are not time-limited yet precisely because we, Slovakia, Hungary as well as Poland and part of Germany have to find alternative transportation routes.

At the same time, there is an ongoing discussion in the EU about introducing a “price ceiling” on Russian gas. This was announced by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. There was an immediate statement from the Russian side about the complete stoppage of supplies to the EU.

  • The story with the “price ceiling” on gas is related to the attempt to tame the price of electricity. For the last few months we have been witnessing a rapid growth in Europe, which is precisely due to the high cost of gas. A decision could be made this coming Friday, September 9.
    Recall that at present the gas situation on the European market is affected by the shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, as previously stated, allegedly due to technical problems. The Czech Ambassador for Energy Security, Vaclav Bartuska, believes that this is a deliberate action on the part of Russia.
  • “I’ve been saying since February that we must be prepared for the cessation of Russian oil and gas supplies to the West. This is part of the plan to put pressure on us. Frankly speaking, this is the only weapon that Russia can use against the West. It’s absolutely clear that Russia will use it. This has been partially happening since February – blackmail by limiting the transfer of gas via Nord Stream 1. Let me repeat that we should expect the cessation of Russian gas supplies to us in the near future.

The expert believes that the Czech Republic is well prepared for the coming winter. Just like in Germany the country’s gas storage facilities are 80% full.

  • Some of them have already found alternative ways of gas supply. As an exception heating plants were allowed to use less environmentally friendly fuels – coal, fuel oil. I think we will manage this winter. Transition period, when the supply system will be restructured, will last about 3 years.