Russia earned 158 billion euros from fossil fuel exports in the first six months of the war, taking advantage of their high prices, according to a report by an independent research center published today. The report calls for more effective sanctions against Moscow.
Rising fossil fuel prices mean Russia’s current revenues are well above those in previous years, despite falling export volumes, the report by the Finland-based Center for Energy and Clean Air Research (CREA) highlighted .
Gas prices soared to historic levels in Europe, while oil prices rose sharply at the start of the war before falling recently.
“Fossil fuel exports are believed to have poured €43 billion into the Russian federal budget, helping to finance war crimes in Ukraine,” the report’s authors estimated.
These numbers refer to the first 6 months of the war following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or the period 24 February to 24 August.
For this period, CREA concluded that the largest importer of Russian fossil fuel energy was the European Union (totaling €85.1 billion), followed by China and Turkey.
The EU has decided to impose a gradual embargo on the import of oil and oil products. The community has also already ended coal purchases, but Russian gas, on which it is heavily dependent, is currently unaffected.
However, the research center believes that the European coal embargo imposed on August 10 is already bearing fruit, with Russian exports since then falling to their lowest levels since the invasion of Ukraine. “Russia failed to find other buyers,” the report’s authors wrote.
According to the researchers, “stricter” rules should be put in place to prevent Russian oil from entering markets where it is supposed to be banned. It is currently too easy to circumvent Western sanctions, the report said.
The EU should ban the use of European ships and ports to transport Russian oil to third countries, experts say. The UK has also been urged to ban its insurance sector from being involved in such international transport.
The G-7 countries decided on Friday to “urgently” put a ceiling on the price of Russian oil. it is a complex mechanism that must be put in place to deal another blow to Moscow’s energy profits, AFP notes.