Western sanctions on Russian energy resources hit two of Russia's closest allies, Venezuela and Iran. Oil restrictions led to a significant loss of the share of both states in the Asian markets – they began to be forced out by Russia, providing large discounts on its own oil. The loss of income is beginning to irritate the authorities in Iran and Venezuela, and some officials are seriously talking about changing course – in favor of the European Union and the United States. Western countries are suffering from rising energy prices and are ready to pay the full price, which opens up opportunities for negotiations. The New York Times writes about this, citing market participants close to both countries.
Despite the friendship between countries in the Asian market, they are competitors, and active dumping by Russia intensifies competition. The publication claims that the provision of large discounts by Russia has led to a drop in the volume of deliveries and revenues of exporters from these countries. The State Oil Company of Venezuela (PDVSA), due to Russian supplies, was forced to double the discount on its oil to $45 per barrel. Moreover, after the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the transport companies that transport Venezuelan oil to Asia stopped paying the country for the oil they sell on its behalf. This deprived Caracas of $1.5 billion in revenue, or almost a quarter of the republic's oil revenues.
The NYT insists that Iran is beginning to face similar problems due to the expansion of Russian oil to the East. According to traders close to the Iranian side, oil sales to China fell by a third, and to the entire Asian market – twice to 700,000 barrels per day. At the same time, in monetary terms, the Iranian side has received so far only 37% of the income planned before the war. China, on the other hand, is deliberately switching to oil from its northern neighbor, the publication claims, in order to maintain relations with a more important partner for it.
Both states are not very happy with the state of affairs with the sale of their own energy resources and are looking for alternative markets. It is Western countries that can become new partners, according to the NYT, which are faced with a sharp increase in energy prices and are looking for alternatives to oil and gas supplies from Russia against the background of the war with Ukraine. As an example, the newspaper cites the recent visit of American diplomats to Caracas, where they discussed, among other things, the possibility of increasing oil production and supplies to the American and European markets. Moreover, the publication claims that Europe has obtained from the United States easing sanctions against Venezuela and now Italian Eni and Spanish Repsol are buying its oil, and American Chevron is actively negotiating to increase oil supplies to the United States.
The Islamic Republic has previously tried to push Russian oil on the Chinese market, for this it had to increase discounts, but this did not give the expected effect. Now the Iranian side is thinking about stepping up contacts with Western countries through a "nuclear deal." Some Iranian officials, according to the publication, see the current situation as an opportunity for mutually beneficial rapprochement with the European Union. Thus, both countries could compensate for the losses from competition with Russia in the Asian markets.