BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE – AFP
Russia earned 93 billion euros ($98 billion) from fossil fuel exports during the first 100 days of its war in Ukraine, with the most sent to the European Union, according to research published Monday.
The report from the independent, Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) comes as Kyiv urges the West to sever all trade with Russia in the hopes of cutting off the Kremlin’s financial lifeline.
Earlier this month, the EU agreed to halt most Russian oil imports, on which the continent is heavily dependent. Though the bloc aims to reduce gas shipments by two-thirds this year, an embargo is not in the cards at present.
According to the report, the EU took 61% of Russia’s fossil fuel exports during the war’s first 100 days, worth about 57 billion euros.
The top importers were China at 12.6 billion euros, Germany at 12.1 billion euros and Italy at 7.8 billion euros.
The majority of Russia’s fossil fuel revenues come from the sale of crude oil at 46 billion euros, followed by pipeline gas, oil products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal.
Even as Russia’s exports plummeted in May, with countries and companies shunning its supplies over the Ukraine invasion, the global rise in fossil fuel prices continued to fill the Kremlin’s coffers, with export revenues reaching record highs.
Russia’s average export prices were about 60% higher than last year, according to the CREA.
Some countries have upped their purchases from Moscow, including China, India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France, the report added.
“As the EU is considering stricter sanctions against Russia, France has increased its imports to become the largest buyer of LNG in the world,” said CREA analyst Lauri Myllyvirta.
Since most of these are spot purchases rather than long-term contracts, France is consciously deciding to use Russian energy in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Myllyvirta added.
He called for an embargo on Russian fossil fuels to “align actions with words.”