The EU has tried to cut Russian oil, but it still buys more than anyone

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A demonstration calling for an embargo on Russian oil in Cologne, Germany.

  • The EU remained the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels in September, according to CREA.
  • It has imported more than 100 billion euros worth of Russian fuel since the start of the war in Ukraine.
  • The EU still imports about €260 million of Russian fossil fuels every day.
  • For more stories, visit Business Insider.

Despite the pledge to wean itself off Russian energy, the European Union remained the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels in September, according to a report by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, or CREA, published on October 4.

From the start of the war in Ukraine until the end of September, the EU has spent more than 100 billion euros, or $97 billion, on Russian fossil fuel imports, according to the report. This is despite a decrease in Russian fossil fuel imports from the EU, which fell by 14% from August to the end of September and by 50% from March to the end of September, the CREA wrote in its report.

China is the second largest buyer of Russian oil, behind the EU.

The decline is partly due to a drop in natural gas supplies after Gazprom halted deliveries via Nord Stream 1. The EU has also banned coal imports since August. The move aims to cut Russia’s energy revenues, which are funding the war in Ukraine. Energy is a key pillar of the Russian economy, accounting for more than a fifth of its GDP.

Other countries are taking back some of the market share lost by the EU in Russia. Emerging markets in India, China, Turkey and Malaysia have taken over Russian fuel as imports have increased significantly since the start of the war in Ukraine, CREA added.

While Russian fossil fuel exports by volume have fallen by about a third since the start of the war, high energy prices have supported the Kremlin’s coffers.

“Soaring fossil fuel prices mean that Russia’s current revenues are well above the level of previous years, despite reductions in export volumes this year,” CREA wrote in an August report.

Crude oil futures are up about 20% year-to-date. Benchmark European natural gas futures more than doubled over the same period.

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