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Russia says it will stop selling oil to countries that set price caps

·2-min read

MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia would stop selling oil to countries that impose price caps on Russia's energy resources - caps that Moscow said would lead to significant destabilisation of the global oil market.

"Companies that impose a price cap will not be among the recipients of Russian oil," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call, endorsing comments made on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

"We simply will not cooperate with them on non-market principles," Peskov said.

Group of Seven (G7) finance ministers were due to meet virtually on Friday and were expected to firm up plans to impose a price cap on Russian oil purchases with the aim of reducing the revenues flowing to Moscow.

The European Union earlier this year imposed a partial ban on Russian oil purchases, which Brussels says will halt 90% of Russia's exports to the 27-member bloc when it fully comes into force.

European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday it was time for the EU to consider a similar price cap on Russian gas purchases.

Peskov said it was European citizens who were paying the price for such moves, imposed in response to Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

"Energy markets are at fever pitch. This is mainly in Europe, where anti-Russian measures have led to a situation where Europe is buying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States for a lot of money - unjustified money. U.S. companies are getting richer and European taxpayers are getting poorer," Peskov said.

Russia was studying how a price ceiling on its oil exports might affect its economy, Peskov said.

"One thing can be said with confidence: such a move will lead to a significant destabilisation of the oil markets."

Before Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February, Europe was the destination for almost half of Russia's crude and petroleum product exports, according to the International Energy Agency.

The bloc imported 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, 1.2 million bpd of refined products and 0.5m bpd of diesel in 2021, with Germany, Poland and the Netherlands the largest customers.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)