G7 seeks to curb Russian oil income

The Group of Seven rich nations debating price cap

The Group of Seven rich nations are debating a global price cap for Russian oil that would curb Moscow’s energy revenues and potentially limit its ability to fund its invasion of Ukraine. Higher crude oil and fuel prices allowed Russian revenues to climb in May despite its export volumes slipping due to sanctions, the International Energy Agency said in its June monthly report.

Russian oil export revenues are estimated to have increased by $1.7 billion in May to about $20 billion. The G7 nations have agreed to ban Russian oil imports, although some over time. Europe was still the destination for 43% of Russian oil and fuel last month. China’s imports of Russian oil and fuel have risen, while India has overtaken Germany’s place as the number two destination.

The G7 would ideally like to end Russian oil sales, but accepts that increased output from producers would not make up the shortfall.


Europe Determined To Ban Russian Energy Exports

How to hurt Russia’s finances without raising the price of oil and gas

Europe is determined to ban—fully or partially—imports of Russian oil and gas, a senior White House advisor said on Friday. Europe has been under pressure to decrease its reliance on Russian energy, including coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear fuel in order to starve Russia of its main income stream. “I have confidence that Europe is getting the message, and they are determined to close off this last source of export revenue,” Daleep Singh, deputy White House national security advisor, told CNN in an interview.

But several particularly oil-dependent countries in Europe, including Germany, have so far refused to support an immediate or full ban on Russian oil and gas. “It’s important that they do this as soon as they can,” Singh said, adding that they need to do it “in a way that’s smart.”

According to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a full EU ban on Russian crude oil and gas imports could have unintended economic consequences for both the United States and its Western allies. While Yellen agrees that the EU needs to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas, “we need to be careful when we think about a complete ban on, say, oil imports,” Yellen said on Thursday.

The sticking point is finding a way to hurt Russia’s finances without raising the price of oil and gas, hurting Europe and the United States.


Biden bans Russian oil imports to U.S.

U.S. gasoline prices will rise further

U.S. President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and other energy imports on Tuesday in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine, underscoring strong bipartisan support for a move that he acknowledged would drive up U.S. energy prices.

“We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas energy,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “That means Russian oil will no longer be acceptable in U.S. ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine.”

Oil prices jumped on the news, with Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 for May climbing by 5.4% to $129.91 a barrel by 1345 GMT.

Biden has been working with allies in Europe, who are far more dependent on Russian oil, to isolate Russia’s energy-heavy economy and Putin. Britain announced shortly before Biden’s remarks that it would phase out the import of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022.


Facebook says it may quit Europe over ban on sharing data with US

EU court ruled there were insufficient safeguards against snooping by US intelligence agencies

Facebook has warned that it may pull out of Europe if the Irish data protection commissioner enforces a ban on sharing data with the US, after a landmark ruling by the European court of justice found in July that there were insufficient safeguards against snooping by US intelligence agencies.

In a court filing in Dublin, Facebook’s associate general counsel wrote that enforcing the ban would leave the company unable to operate. “In the event that [Facebook] were subject to a complete suspension of the transfer of users’ data to the US,” Yvonne Cunnane argued, “it is not clear … how, in those circumstances, it could continue to provide the Facebook and Instagram services in the EU.”


Trump sues Twitter, Google and Facebook alleging ‘censorship’

Freedom of speech

The class action lawsuit also targets the three companies’ CEOs. Mr Trump was suspended from his social accopremiercity.comunts in January over public safety concerns in the wake of the Capitol riots, led by his supporters.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump called the lawsuit “a very beautiful development for our freedom of speech”. In a news conference from his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Mr Trump railed against social media companies and Democrats, who he accused of espousing misinformation.

“We are demanding an end to the shadow-banning, a stop to the silencing, and a stop to the blacklisting, banishing, and cancelling that you know so well,” he said. The suit requests a court order to end alleged censorship. Mr Trump added if they could ban a president, “they can do it to anyone”.