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A new report found that, even though it’s been trying to lead the charge in shunning Russia and cutting off its economy, some EU member states have actually been the biggest buyers of Russian oil since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war in February, largely through embargo loopholes.
According to the report, which was conducted by the Centre For Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), the EU as a bloc has made up about 61% of the imports of Russian oil from February 24 to June 3, with China coming in as the second-biggest buyer and India as the third. The report also said that India, France, China, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia increased imports during the first 100 days of the invasion.
However, the EU is also in the midst of putting more restrictions on Russian oil that will cut down this dependence and consumption further.
Ultimately, the report said that the money Russia is earning from selling oil is making up for the costs being incurred by the war.
“On the face of it, this report contains a lot of bad news. Energy sales are still in effect funding the war in Ukraine, with high prices offsetting efforts to reduce demand,” said Theo Leggett, a BBC Business Correspondent. “Since refined products are not covered by the EU ban, this is a clear potential loophole.”
According to the CREA report, “increase in fossil demand has created a windfall: Russia’s average export prices were an average 60% higher than last year, even if they were discounted from international prices.”