Wed, 07 Feb 2024 11:02 UTC
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Oil and gas are still reaching the bloc via third countries, a top Russian senator has said...EU countries continue to purchase Russian oil and gas despite bold statements about abandoning supplies, the chair of the Federation Council, Valentina Matvienko, has said.
Speaking at an event organized by the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, Matvienko stressed that by refusing to import Russian energy the EU was looking to punish Russia but has punished itself instead.
She emphasized that the steps taken by the Russian government have created a promising and friendly market
for the country's oil, gas, and petroleum products.
"These include the Asia-Pacific region, countries of the global South, and others. Some European states quietly, without announcing it, still purchase both oil and gas [from Russia] through third or fourth channels. We all are able to overcome [obstacles], and should act in line with the policy."
She also noted that most of world is interested in developing mutually beneficial cooperation with Russia and urged that work on providing energy supplies must be continued.
The EU, G7, and allies have hit Russia with numerous restrictions over the conflict in Ukraine.One measure was the so-called oil price cap that aims to prevent Moscow from selling its oil for more than $60 per barrel.Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin banned sales of Russian oil and petroleum products under contracts that directly or indirectly allow the use of the price ceiling.
The Crude Reality: Demand outweighs reprimand (if you can lie about it!):
The UK has been bypassing its own ban on Russian oil by using a 'refinery loophole' to import millions of barrels of the sanctioned commodity in the form of fuels processed in third countries, the BBC reported on Monday, citing two separate studies.
A recent investigation by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) claimed that India and China, which have become the top buyers of Russian oil after the West banned it, are refining sanctioned crude into jet fuel and diesel and then re-selling it to countries across the world, including the UK.
Re-exporting processed oil is not illegal and does not breach the UK's ban on Russian oil due to internationally recognized "rules of origin," which define the country where crude was processed into fuel for commercial purposes as the country of origin.
However, the "refining loophole" comes in contrast to London's claims that there have been no imports of Russian oil since 2022.
Isaac Levi, head of CREA's Europe-Russia policy and energy analysis, commented:
"The issue with this loophole is that it increases the demand for Russian crude and enables higher sales in terms of volume and pushing up their price as well."
A separate research by campaign group Global Witness revealed that some 5.2 million barrels of refined petroleum products made of Russian oil were imported by the UK last year. Most of that volume, or about 4.6 million barrels, arrived in the form of jet fuel and was used in one in 20 UK flights.
Meanwhile, CREA estimated that in the twelve months since Western restrictions on Russian oil took effect in 2022, the UK imported some £569 million ($712.5 million) worth of oil products derived from sanctioned crude.
The Global 'Work-around'!