Russia earned 93 billion euros in fossil fuel export earnings in the first 100 days of its war against Ukraine, most of which went to the EU, according to an independent report by the research center published on Monday, which highlights France.
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This publication from Finland-based Research Center for Energy and Clean Air (CREA) comes as Ukraine urges Westerners to halt all trade with Russia to stop feeding the Kremlin’s war chest.
The European Union recently passed a gradual embargo – with exceptions – on its oil imports. Russian gas, on which it is heavily dependent, is not worried right now.
According to CREA, in the first 100 days of the war (February 24 to June 3), the EU accounted for 61% of fossil imports, or about 57 billion euros. The largest importers were China (12.6 billion euros), Germany (12.1 billion) and Italy (7.8 billion).
Russia’s revenues come first from the sale of crude oil (46 billion), followed by gas transported through gas pipelines (24 billion), then petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and finally coal.
The manna has not dried up, even though exports fell in May and Russia is forced to sell at rock-bottom prices on international markets. Despite this rebate, the country still benefited from rising energy prices around the world.
While some countries have made significant efforts to reduce their imports (Poland, Finland, Baltic countries), others, on the contrary, have increased their purchases: China, India, the United Arab Emirates or … France, according to the CREA.
“While the EU is considering tougher sanctions against Russia, France has increased its imports to become the world’s largest buyer of Russian LNG,” said CREA analyst Lauri Myllyvirta.
The expert estimates that these are cash purchases and not long-term contracts, which means that France made a conscious decision to use Russian energy despite the invasion of Ukraine.
“France must match its actions with its words: if it really supports Ukraine, it must immediately embargo Russian fossil fuels and quickly develop clean energy and energy efficiency solutions,” judges-t-he.