President Joe Biden said Thursday a price cap on Russian oil being proposed by the United States and its Western allies was in play, adding that he had spoken to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on the issue.
"It's in play," Biden told reporters during a Thanksgiving holiday visit to a fire station on Nantucket Island.
The U.S. and its allies were working to agree Wednesday on a $66-$70 per barrel price cap on Russian oil.
Ambassadors from the 27 European Union member states met Wednesday to find unanimous agreement on a cap on Russian oil, central to sanctions by the West on Russia for its war in Ukraine.
The Group of Seven and Australia, which will then approve the EU's price cap, hope to begin enforcing it on Dec. 5.
EU governments were set to resume talks Thursday evening or Friday after failing to reach a deal. The Biden administration sees the price cap as a way to cut oil revenues for Russia, a major source of its funding for its war against Ukraine, while keeping Russian oil flowing and avoiding price spikes.
Some 70%-85% of Russia's crude exports are carried by tankers rather than pipelines. The idea of the price cap is to prohibit shipping, insurance and re-insurance companies from handling cargos of Russian crude around the globe, unless it is sold for no more than the price set by the G7 and its allies.
In response Thursday, the Kremlin said Russia does not plan to supply oil and gas to countries supporting a price cap on its oil and gas, but will make a final decision once it analyzes all the figures.
"As of now, we stand by President (Vladimir) Putin's position that we will not supply oil and gas to the countries which would set (the cap) and join the cap," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told his daily call with reporters.
© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.