European Union to ban insurance for tankers that carry Russian oil

The European Union’s (EU) announcement of its sixth package of sanctions, including a partial ban on Russian oil imports, was hugely significant. Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called it “a big blow to (Vladimir) Putin’s war chest.”

One element of the package, a ban on providing insurance on tankers carrying Russian crude oil, looks likely to have a particularly large impact.

After the embargo of Russian oil and tankers, the EU and the United Kingdom agreed to impose a ban on providing insurance to any ships carrying Russian oil imports anywhere in the world.

Officials hope to have this in place by the end of the year, effectively shutting out one of the largest crude oil producers from the maritime export market. Without insurance, tankers would be turned away from global ports.

But while EU officials are celebrating a win, some analysts warn of the wider economic consequences of clamping down on an industry critical to international trade.

“The restrictions on the insurance are very specific, as it’s a distinct market, maritime insurance,” Nikolaos Farantouris, Professor of Law at the University of Piraeus, told CGTN. “That’s why many analysts, including myself, believe there will be an increase in price in the near future, and it’s possible to see the price of a barrel reaching close to 135 dollars.”

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