Oil Price Drop: Brent Crude Plunges as European Union Prepares to Vote on Russian Oil Ban | City & Business | Finance

Brent crude fell 28 cents (23 pence) to $112.11 (£91.30) a barrel in the early hours of Monday morning. US crude West Texas Intermediate was also hit, falling 41 cents (33 pence) to $109.36 (£89.06) a barrel.

The market has been rocked by events in Brussels as the 27 EU member states debate whether the bloc should introduce an embargo on Russian oil.

This decision would require unanimity within the European Union.

However, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev said Sofia would block the proposal unless the Balkan state secured a waiver from the plan.

He said: “The talks will continue tomorrow, also Tuesday, a meeting of the leaders may be needed to conclude them.

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“Our position is very clear. If there is a waiver for some countries, we also want to get a waiver. »

He added: “Otherwise, we will not support the sanctions.

“But I don’t expect it to come to that, based on the ongoing discussions.”

Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, three nations particularly dependent on Russian oil, have also asked for a waiver of the ban.

The talks with the EU come after the UK government announced Britain would phase out Russian oil over the course of the year in March.

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Speaking about the move at the time, Boris Johnson said: “In another economic blow to Putin’s regime following his illegal invasion of Ukraine, the UK will move away from dependence on Russian oil. throughout this year, building on our tough program of international economic sanctions.

“Working with industry, we are confident this can be achieved over the year, giving businesses enough time to adapt and ensuring consumer protection.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “Unprovoked military aggression will not pay and we will continue to support the brave people of Ukraine as they resist tyranny, building on our existing sanctions which are already crippling the Putin’s war machine.

“We have more than enough time for the market and our supply chains to adapt to these essential changes.

“Companies should use this year to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers are not affected.”

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Japan was also one of the G7 members to announce on Sunday that it would phase out oil imports from Russia “in principle”.

However, CMC Markets analyst Tina Teng suggested that events in China had weighed on prices.

Teng said: “The broader sense of risk aversion driven by recession fears and China’s lockdowns are the main factors putting pressure on the price of oil.”

She added: “The ongoing lockdowns in China could continue to weigh on oil prices in the near term.”

Riyadh has taken steps that will see Saudi Arabia lower crude prices for Asia and Europe for Europe on Sunday.

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