The US government has privately encouraged major commodities traders to keep hauling price-capped Russian oil after the latest European Union ban on Moscow’s refined product exports put pressure on global markets.

US officials held a series of conversations with traders, including Trafigura and Gunvor Group, and reassured them about expanding their volumes of Russian oil without breaching Western sanctions, industry sources said.

The meetings, first reported in the Financial Times, are a continuation of US-led policy to keep Russian oil moving while limiting profits from the trades.