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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Axes Oil Export Duty Caps

President Vladimir Putin approved Monday new measures to allow the government to control fuel oil and gas oil exports by imposing prohibitive duties when necessary.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin had endorsed decisions, approved in November by the lower and upper houses of parliament, to remove all limits on export tariffs for oil products by amending a law that fixed them at 90 percent of export duties on crude oil.

Traders have said it would allow the government to slap a prohibitive duty on fuel oil exports as early as January to help the Kremlin ensure stable heating for households during the winter ahead of next March's presidential election.

The new measure was approved after Putin in November criticized previous legislation adopted earlier this year after months of lobbying by Yukos.

Putin said last month the government should be allowed to limit exports of fuel oil during heating seasons and exports of gas oil during harvesting campaigns.

Russia exported a total of 77.4 million tons (2.0 million barrels per day) of oil products in January-September of 2003, up 13 percent year-on-year, of which 38.4 million tons were fuel oil and 27.7 million were gas oil.

The amendments have yet to be published by the official government newspaper. They usually come into force one month after the official publication.

The economy ministry has said Russia was unlikely to impose any prohibitive export duty before next year.