RTE news reports that Russia plans to halt petrol (not oil) exports for a while to keep a lid on prices in the domestic market - Russia halts petrol exports.
Russia has decided to halt petrol exports and switch the flow to the home market to fight shortages and a price rise that is coinciding with rising voter discontent.
The sudden announcement from the world's biggest oil producer came after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered his government to tackle an issue that has been gaining increasing attention ahead of upcoming elections.
Deputy Energy Ministry Sergei Kudryashov's comments suggested the ban would apply only for the month of May and then be followed by higher petrol export duties aimed at keeping most future sales within Russia.
A spokesman for the country's biggest oil producer Rosneft later confirmed that the decision only applied to the upcoming month.
The unexpected decision came after two dozen Russian regions reported shortages that were causing prices at the pump to jump by as much as 30% since the weekend.
Russia officially exported three million tonnes of petrol last year but energy companies are reporting higher foreign deliveries in the first quarter because of surging global energy prices.