TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States, and afterward the European Union, have boycotted or banned most or all purchases of Russian oil by the end of 2022.
The U.S. banned all Russian oil imports on March 8. A week later, Russia fired back at the U.S.’ economic attack. Despite the sanctions, trade war, and real war, Russia still made €93 billion (Euros) in revenue for its fossil fuels in the first three months of its Ukraine invasion.
“In response to a series of unprecedented sanctions banning, among other things, entry into the United States for top officials of the Russian Federation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry placed senior U.S. leaders on its list of “the Russian ‘stop-list’” in a move they referred to as being on a “mutual basis,” on Facebook page.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate jointly voted to permanently end trade with Russia in early April, in an effort to further isolate the country during its invasion of Ukraine, according to Nexstar reporter Raquel Martin.
In May, the Hill reported that the Biden administration would also bar Russian citizens and Russian companies from using U.S. financial services, and sanctioned three Russian government-controlled television stations.
Europe followed the U.S.’ lead on oil bans at the end of May, the Associated Press reported the European Union had agreed to ban 90% of Russian oil by year’s end.
Despite sanctions and other economic shots, Russia is a large country. Besides its abundant population, Russia is a big exporter of crude oil and natural gas, as well as coal. It also has allies and trading partners outside of Europe and the U.S. To understand how Russia was making up the cost of its war effort in Ukraine, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, based in Finland, researched who was buying the Kremlin’s fossil fuels.
The sanctions against Russia as a result of its war effort have impacted sales, but only to a certain point, according to CREA’s report. Russia earned a reported €93 billion from Feb. 24 to June 3. The invasion of Ukraine began Feb. 24. Of the buyers of the fossil fuels, CREA reported the European Union imported more than half, 61% for €57 billion.
While Europe has signaled it will end most of its use of Russia’s fuel by the end of 2022, the oil, and funds, are still flowing. “Import volumes fell modestly in May, around 15% compared with the time before the invasion, as many countries and firms shunned Russian supplies,” CREA said.
The independent research organization said the largest importers of Russian oil were China (€12.6 billion), Germany (€12.1 billion), Italy (€7.8 billion), Netherlands (€7.8 billion), Turkey (€6.7 billion), Poland (€4.4 billion), France (€4.3 billion) and India (€3.4 billion), as of their June 13 report.
As Russia has discounted its fuel prices following sanctions, India, France, China, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia reportedly increased their fuel imports. India imported 18% of the Russian crude oil sold. Even with the increase in imports, China remains the largest importer of fossil fuels from Russia.
CREA reported “revenue from fossil fuel exports is the key enabler of Russia’s military buildup and aggression,” in its fight against Ukraine. The United Kingdom and the EU both will phase out imports of Russian product by the end of 2022. The EU has also banned coal imports beginning in August, and seaborne oil imports beginning in December.
As sanctions took effect, EU imports of Russian gas dropped 23% in the first 100 days of their invasion of Ukraine, while imports decreased 30% year-over-year as of May. Despite the decline, CREA reported that Russia-owned Gazprom had seen profits twice as high as in 2021, as a result of high oil and gas prices.