Russian oil: what will Putin’s ban in France change?


Action reaction. Vladimir Putin announced last week what sanctions would be applied to countries that will cap the price of a barrel of Russian oil. As a reminder, the European Union, the G7 and Australia sealed an agreement at the beginning of December to set the maximum price of a barrel of Russian oil at 60 dollars, in order to limit Moscow’s means against Ukraine, within the framework of the conflict that began in 2022.

At the time of the announcement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen explained on Twitter: “This cap will help stabilize global energy markets (…) and will directly benefit emerging economies and developing countries. “. Russian President Vladimir Putin waited until the end of December to announce the planned sanctions, declaring in a decree, quoted by Le Parisien: “The delivery of Russian oil and oil products to foreign legal persons and other individuals is prohibited” if the latter have set a ceiling price. The measure will come into force on February 1, 2023 and for five months, i.e. until July 1, 2023.

It was enough to worry Europeans, especially the French, who have been facing a significant rise in gasoline prices for several months. Should we expect more or less long-term consequences? As Le Parisien explains, Russian oil is low in France’s imports and, according to INSEE, it represented only 8.8% of that imported into France in 2021, behind Algeria, Nigeria and Libya. A figure which must have fallen in recent months, since the European Union had called on the States to gradually free themselves from hydrocarbons coming from Russia. If some already fear shortages, Vladimir Putin’s decision should therefore have little impact in French gas stations.