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Gwede Mantashe says SA should consider importing oil from Russia

The minister says low-cost oil imports from Russia could help ease soaring energy prices in SA

Mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: THULANI MBELE
Mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe. Picture: THULANI MBELE

Mineral resources & energy minister Gwede Mantashe says SA should consider importing crude oil from Russia as part of efforts to curb rising fuel prices that have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“We should consider importing crude oil from Russia at a low price because it is not sanctioned,” he said during a parliamentary debate on fuel prices on Wednesday.

The US and the EU have announced sanctions on Russian oil imports, prompting many oil importers to shun trade with Moscow and pushing spot prices for Russian crude to record discounts against other grades.

But the US and EU sanctions do not formally prohibit consumers outside their jurisdictions from buying Russian oil and fellow members of the Brics group of emerging nations, India and China, have snapped up cheap Russian oil.

SA has close historical ties to Moscow due to the Soviet Union’s support for the anti-apartheid struggle.

It abstained from a UN vote denouncing the invasion of Ukraine, and in May President Cyril said “bystander countries” were suffering due to sanctions against Russia.

Like governments around the world, SA has rolled out subsidies to ease pressure on consumers from higher fuel costs, including extending a fuel levy reduction at an estimated cost of R4.5bn in lost government revenue.

Reuters

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