Adjustment of EU sanctions to unblock Russian oil deals with third countries

The petrol pump model is seen in front of the EU and Russia flag colors in this illustration taken March 25, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/

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BRUSSELS, July 22 (Reuters) – Russian state-owned companies Rosneft and Gazprom will be able to ship oil to third countries under an adjustment to European Union sanctions agreed by member states this week aimed at limiting risks to global energy security.

Major trading houses such as Vitol, Glencore and Trafigura as well as oil majors such as Shell and Total have stopped trading Russian oil for third parties, citing EU sanctions including restrictions on insurance.

Purchases of Russian crude oil transported by EU companies and its export to third countries are permitted, but under changes to sanctions against Russia that came into force on Friday, payments related to such shipments would not be prohibited .

“In order to avoid any potential negative consequences for food and energy security worldwide, the EU has decided to extend the exemption from the ban on entering into transactions with certain public entities with regard to transactions in products agriculture and the transport of oil to third countries,” the EU said in a statement on Thursday.

Sources at the trading house had said EU restrictions would have led China and India to buy oil through small private traders and the Russian oil trade to migrate to gray areas with little insurance against accidents and to be managed by older vessels.

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Reporting by John Chalmers Editing by Alistair Bell

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