EU still largest importer of Russian oil despite sanctions: Report
New data shows that due to a loophole in sanctions, the EU is still the largest importer of Russian fossil fuel energy.
According to recent data, the European Union remains the top importer of Russian fossil fuel energy, despite the EU leading in the implementation of the most stringent sanctions against Moscow.
The EU is the greatest importer since it continues to acquire a record volume of crude products from Russia's primary customers.
The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) identified what it called five "laundromat" nations that sell Russian crude to the EU, which are China, India, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.
To crack down on Russian crude oil and oil products, the EU, Group of Seven (G7) nations, and Australia have joined the US in implementing some of the harshest anti-Russia sanctions, including a ban on most oil exports to Europe and a price cap on Russian crude.
Another set of sanctions, in which the EU embargoed refined items like diesel and gasoline, went into force in February of this year.
However, these imports have expanded "by leaps and bounds" from "laundromat" nations, who have all become the leading importers of Russian crude since the start of the war, the research explained.
The report highlighted that the EU, G7 nations, and Australia have imported a total of €42 billion (£37 billion) in oil products from "laundromat" countries in the year after the start of the Ukraine war.
It noted that the EU's oil imports totaled €7.7 billion (£6.7 billion) in the year following the war, placing it at the top of Russian oil importers
According to Lauri Myllyvirta, co-author of the paper and co-founder and principal analyst at CREA, the imports mitigate the impact of the sanctions on Russia.
Myllyvirta pointed out that “increasing the imports of oil products from the main importers of Russian crude oil undermines the oil sanctions against Russia."
He told The Independent that the EU and G7 have "failed to lower the price cap to a level that would truly deny Russia excess profits from oil exports," noting that the situation highlights the dependency on oil and the lack of action to reduce oil demand by the EU and G7.
Imports of Russian crude oil by the five Asian and Middle Eastern nations increased by more than 140% in volume compared to the year before the conflict, with the total value of imports increasing to €74.8 billion (£66 billion).
According to the research, the oil-sanctioning nations were responsible for the great bulk of the growth in "laundromat" countries' oil exports during the war. Their exports to the West had surged by 80% in value and 26% in volume.
The price-cap alliance nations raised their imports of refined oil from China by 93%, India by 2%, Turkey by 43%, the UAE by 23%, and Singapore by 33%.