Chinese public refiners respect existing oil contracts with Russia, but avoid committing to new contracts despite significant discounts, thus responding to Beijing’s call for caution at a time when global sanctions against Moscow are escalating due to the invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing several sources close to the process. .
The same sources, who asked not to be identified, said the state-owned Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, and CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinochem, were on the sidelines when it came to negotiating new shipments of Russian oil for delivery in May.
China’s state-owned companies do not want to be seen as openly supporting Moscow, which will happen if they buy more oil, according to two of these sources. This comes after Washington banned imports of Russian crude last month and the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia’s biggest exporters, Rosneft and Gazprom Neft.
“Chinese state-owned companies are being vigilant because their actions can be seen as a representation of the Chinese government and none of them want to be identified as a buyer of Russian oil,” one of the sources told Reuters.
Beijing and Moscow have developed closer ties than ever in recent years, declaring a “no offence” partnership last February — and China has refused to condemn Russian military action in Ukraine or even call it an “invasion.”
China, the world’s largest oil importer, is the main buyer of Russian crude – it buys 1.6 million barrels per day, and half of this volume is obtained through contracts signed between the two governments.
Hungary agrees to pay Russian gas in rubles
If Beijing distanced itself from the Kremlin — China, like India, spoke of the Bucha massacre, Beijing defended an investigation, and New Delhi condemned the killing of civilians — Putin saw one of his “friends” giving a signal of support.
Viktor Orban, who was re-elected Sunday for a fourth term as Hungarian Prime Minister, indicated that, contrary to the common position of the European Union so far, Budapest would accept the payment of Russian gas in rubles if Moscow requested it.
Washington and London impose new sanctions on Moscow
The United States of America and the United Kingdom announced new sanctions against Russia in the wake of the Bukha massacre.
The new punitive measures, which other G7 nations are expected to watch, include sanctions against Putin’s two daughters and the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as well as former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. .
Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and Alpha Bank, Russia’s largest private bank, as well as other Russian state-owned companies are also targeted.
Sberbank and Alpha Bank, the two largest Russian banks, are included in the US and UK sanctions.
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