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Russia's Novak warns of oil shortage in Europe due to import ban

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: llustration shows Natural Gas Pipes and EU and Russian flags

(Reuters) - European Union's embargo on oil imports from Russia may result in significant shortages of oil and oil products in Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday, also calling the cooperation with OPEC+ "effective".

Speaking on state TV, Novak also said that Russia will find ways to sell its oil to other markets, calling the EU decision "political".

Novak was talking after the OPEC+ group of leading global oil producing countries had just agreed to hike oil production faster than expected in July and August, a move which the Russian official explained by the need to meet rising demand.

The European Union said on Monday that it aims to cut Russian oil imports by 90% by year-end but added that piped and sea-borne supply would remain legal until then.

"As the result of those decisions, European consumers will suffer in the first place. We are seeing rising prices not only for crude oil but also for oil products. I don't rule out there will be a large shortage of oil products in European Union," Novak said.

He said the gradual restrictions would allow Russia and the markets time to adjust to the ban.

In comments about the OPEC+ decision to bring forward the oil output hike, Novak said that Russian oil production was declining in March and April, while it started to recover in May and the recovery continued in early June.

"I believe that in June there will be a peak recovery in production in comparison to previous levels," he said.

"The countries have confirmed once more that the OPEC+ deal is effective," he added.

Russian oil production declined by around 9% in April following Western sweeping sanctions imposed after Moscow sent its troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Alison Williams)

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