Friendship is friendship, but oil is apart. How Iran and Venezuela will be hurt by competition with Russia

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Friendship is friendship, but oil is apart. How Iran and Venezuela will be hurt by competition with Russia
Friendship is friendship, but oil is apart. How Iran and Venezuela will be hurt by competition with Russia
14 July, 11:31EconomyPhoto: The New York Times
An oil war with the West could spoil Russia's relations with friendly countries

Iran and Venezuela may not like Russia's desire to find new buyers for its oil in the Asian market to replace the European market. The fact is that these two countries traditionally trade oil in Asia, and therefore may lose part of their income, which will negatively affect their relations with our country and even bring them closer to the West, writes the influential American edition of The New York Times .

The situation is complicated by the fact that both Iran and Venezuela are under Western sanctions, and therefore it is extremely difficult for them to find new buyers for their oil, while Russia, by its actions, is forcing them to lower the price of oil in order to remain on the market.

Since the data on oil exports in these countries are classified, the newspaper writes, it is impossible to accurately assess the drop in their income, but sources say that Iran is already reducing its exports, its deliveries to China have fallen by more than a third compared to the beginning of the year, and deliveries to other Asian countries - up to about 700,000 barrels per day, that is, up to half of the volume that is included in the country's budget.

It is possible to name record oil discounts that Venezuela makes to China: a barrel of Venezuelan oil Merey is now trading at $45 cheaper than Brent, the price of which is at the level of $100 per barrel.

Moreover, the newspaper alleges that after the start of the special operation, Russian companies stopped paying the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA for the oil they sell on its behalf in Asia. This constitutes the most important source of income for Venezuela. For example, last year, such a sales scheme accounted for a quarter of the country's oil revenues - about $1.5 billion.

Therefore, one should not be surprised if Iran and Venezuela prefer strengthening relations with the West instead of friendship with Russia. In addition, this is already happening: in the past three months, major US officials have flown to Venezuela twice already to discuss the resumption of Venezuelan oil exports to the US. In addition, the US administration allowed the Italian oil company Eni and the Spanish Repsol to export Venezuelan oil to Europe.

Some Iranian politicians argue that Iran also has the opportunity to reorient itself to the Western market in connection with the sanctions imposed against Russia.

Iran can also take advantage of the sanctions imposed against Russia. Some Iranian politicians argue that pushing Russian oil out of the European market gives Iran a potential opportunity to refocus on Western buyers.

In the meantime, the West is trying to develop a list of measures that will limit the cost of Russian oil to $40-60 per barrel. True, experts doubt the possibility of such a development of the situation, warning that on the contrary, the price of oil may rise even more.

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