EU’s Michel cautious on Russia gold ban, oil price cap move by G7

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The European Union gave a cautious response on Sunday to plans by fellow G7 members to ban imports of Russian gold, and said it needed more certainty before signing up to a US initiative to cap the price of Russian oil.

G7 leaders met in southern Germany for a three-day summit from Sunday designed to show their united response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine four months ago.

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European Council President Charles Michel was cautious about a plan from Britain, United States, Japan, and Canada to ban imports of newly mined or refined Russian gold.

“On gold, we are ready to go more into the details and to look if it’s possible to target gold in a manner that would target the Russian economy and not in a manner that would target ourselves,” Michel, who chairs EU summits, told a news conference as G7 leaders arrived.

The EU, which plans to ban imports of most Russian oil from the end of the year, also has reservations about a US push for a broad oil price cap or “price exception” to restrict Moscow’s energy revenue.

A price exception could work through a mechanism to restrict or ban insurance or financing for Russian oil shipments above a certain amount. It could prevent spillover effects to low income countries that are struggling with high food and energy costs.

Michel said G7 leaders would discuss a technical mechanism that had the effect of an oil price cap through services related to oil and export insurance.

“I’m careful and cautious, we are ready to go into the details. We are ready to take a decision together with our partners, but we want to make sure that what we decide will have a negative effect (on Russia) and not a negative effect for ourselves,” Michel said.

Read more: UK PM Johnson warns France’s Macron off settling Ukraine war ‘now’

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