Europe turns into top US oil importer: Bloomberg
After abandoning Russia, Europe is now majorly dependent on American oil.
Due to EU limits on Russian petroleum, Europe has become the primary importer of US oil, Bloomberg reported on Friday, citing statistics from the US Census Bureau.
According to the data, Europe imported approximately 213.1 million barrels of crude from January to May of this year. For the first time since 2016, the region surpassed Asia as the largest US oil importer during the same five-month period. According to data, Asia got only 191.1 million barrels from the United States at the time.
The rerouting of oil flows coincides with the imposition of severe sanctions on Russian oil by the United States, the European Union, and other Western countries in reaction to the war in Ukraine.
The EU recently imposed a partial embargo on Russian oil and has been reducing imports to reduce Russian oil earnings and, as a result, Moscow's ability to support its military operation in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the United States has proposed a price cap, and its representatives are actively working to gain support for the plan, particularly from China and India. Both countries have recently increased their purchases of Russian oil, keen to take advantage of the significant discounts Moscow is making to divert shipments.
Europe 'shot itself in the lungs'
The European Union has "shot itself in the lungs" with imprudent economic sanctions on Russia, which risk destroying the European economy if not rolled back, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said earlier on Friday.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis and the application of Western sanctions, gas supplies to Europe have tightened and fuel prices have risen, leaving governments scrambling to replenish reserves and seek other supply channels.
The surge in prices pushed Orban to curtail a years-long cap on utility prices for higher-usage households, removing one of the prime minister's signature economic policies.
"Initially, I thought we had only shot ourselves in the foot, but now it is clear that the European economy has shot itself in the lungs, and it is gasping for air," Orban told public radio in an interview.
Resilient Russian economy
Western economic forecasters did not anticipate Russia's economy to show signs of improvement with the many sanctions imposed by the EU and US. Russia has managed to prevent the collapse of its currency and continues to benefit from the surge in hydrocarbon prices.
They intended to “punish Russia. Assets were frozen, and companies were punished. But they failed,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, June 17, during the Economic Forum of Saint Petersburg, once considered a symbol of openness to commercial relations with the West.