Russia sends more energy to Asia as Europe cuts spending

BERLIN — Russia sent significantly more oil and coal to India and China over the summer compared to the start of the year, while European countries that have long relied on Russian energy sharply reduced in response to the war in Ukraine, according to a report released Tuesday.

The Energy and Clean Air Research Center said Russia received about $158 billion in revenue from the sale of oil, natural gas and coal from February to August, more than half of which – some $85 billion – was exported to the European Union.

Within the EU, Germany was the biggest importer, buying $19 billion worth of fossil fuels from Russia over the six-month period.

The world’s biggest importer, however, was China, which bought $35 billion worth of Russian energy, the Helsinki-based group said.

While Russia’s revenue has increased, overall export volume has fallen by 18% compared to when the country invaded Ukraine, according to the report.

The EU has cut imports from Russia by 35% since the start of the war, with Russian coal now banned in the 27-nation bloc and a halt in oil sales due to take effect at the end of the war. year.
Russia itself has sharply reduced natural gas flows to the EU, indicating this week that they would not resume until Western sanctions were lifted.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Monday that his country does not expect imports of Russian gas to resume.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has acknowledged that past purchases of cheap Russian gas have come at the expense of Germany’s national security – an argument former governments in Berlin have firmly rejected.

“Until recently, there were false technical reasons; now Kremlin leaders are hinting at our sanctions as a whole, which are supposed to impede further gas deliveries,” Baerbock said in a speech to German diplomats and business representatives in Berlin. “We have to say it very clearly: we will not succumb to this blackmail.”

Meanwhile, India and China imported significantly more coal and crude oil from Russia in July and August than in February and March, according to the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research report.

The group said fossil fuel exports have contributed around $43 billion to Russia’s federal budget, compared to independent estimates that the war has so far cost the Russian state the equivalent of $100 billion. of dollars.

Mary I. Bruner