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Russia announces ban on gasoline exports for six months from Friday

“From March 1, the government introduces a temporary ban on gasoline exports.

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Russia announces ban on gasoline exports for six months from Friday

“From March 1, the government introduces a temporary ban on gasoline exports.” It is with these words that the Russian government indicated, this Thursday in a press release, that it would stop its fuel exports for six months. This decision, which will therefore come into force this Friday, should make it possible to “stabilize” prices at the pump on the domestic market during “the period of increased demand linked to spring work,” explains the government. It comes especially two weeks before the presidential election which should see Vladimir Putin re-elected to the Kremlin until 2024, a result which is in little doubt as the opposition has been crushed in recent years.

The ban will, however, not particularly concern “deliveries carried out within the framework of international intergovernmental agreements, including agreements with the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union” – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia –, the government clarified. . On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, Alexander Novak, anticipated the official announcement and explained: “when the market is saturated, in surplus, naturally then measures will be taken to lift the ban.”

Russia had already implemented such a measure in the fall of 2023 in the face of soaring prices at the pump, a phenomenon which was increasingly eating into the purchasing power of Russians already affected by the weakening of the ruble due to sanctions. . In 2023, Russia produced 43.9 million tonnes of gasoline, according to official figures.

The financial windfall from the sale of hydrocarbons is essential for Moscow at a time when its economy is focused on the war effort to support the military offensive in Ukraine. However, in recent months, the Ukrainian army has struck several Russian oil depots using explosive drones, depriving Moscow's forces of significant resources.

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