Aletho News


African Nations Reportedly Boost Russian Oil Imports Amid EU Sanctions

By Maria Konokhova – Sputnik – 27.02.2023

Following the onset of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, the US-led West embarked on a crusade aimed at isolating the country by sanctioning its economy and political establishment. Among other things, Western sanctions have targeted Russian hydrocarbons.

In recent months, North African countries have ratcheted up imports of diesel and other refined petroleum products from Russia, as the latter is now cut off from the European market, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The European Union bloc has imposed a ban on the purchase and import of seaborne Russian crude oil starting from December. Moreover, EU member states, which accounted for about 60% of Russian exports of refined petroleum products before the start of the hostilities in Ukraine, have recently reduced these flows.

This month, a EU ban on imports of refined petroleum products from Russia, including diesel and jet fuel, came into effect.

African Countries Step Up to the Plate

According to the newspaper, the barrage of sanctions has forced Moscow to pursue new partnerships and redirect exports away from Europe to alternative markets. It was noted that against this backdrop, North African countries “picked up the slack,” increasing imports from Russia.

The report drew several examples that advocate this notion, citing data from Kpler, a data and analytics company.

First, Tunisia, which had imported almost no Russian petroleum products in 2021, has recently started to receive supplies of diesel, gasoil, gasoline and naphtha from Russia. In January, the country acquired 2.8 million barrels of Russian oil products. This month, it was emphasized that Tunisia was going to import another 3.1 million barrels from Russia.

Along with Tunisia, another North African country, mentioned by the newspaper, significantly enhanced cooperation with Moscow in this field. In 2021, Moroccan imports of Russian diesel stood at around 600,000 barrels. However, this figure swelled to 2 million barrels last month. In February, Morocco is expected to import 1.2 million barrels. It was also noted with no specific details that Algeria and Egypt boosted their imports of Russian oil products as well.

Frustrating Western Efforts to Shun Russian Oil

The newspaper noted that the increase in Tunisia’s and Morocco’s imports from Russia coincided with that of their own exports of refined products to the global market. Therefore, it was assumed, Russian hydrocarbons could be mixed with other petroleum products and re-exported to other countries, including European ones.

The US-based paper stated that this process disguises the ultimate origin of the products and, therefore, undermines Western efforts aimed at cutting off Russian fossil fuels from their economies, and frustrates efforts to end their energy dependence on Russia and limit Moscow’s sources of funds. The newspaper concluded, citing analysts, that if this trend continues, depriving Moscow of revenue would be difficult.

According to the International Energy Agency, Russian oil exports increased to 8.2 mb/d last month ahead of the EU embargo and the G7 price cap on refined products taking effect. The refined-product exports “held steady.” Meanwhile, Moscow’s export revenues were estimated at $13 billiion.

February 27, 2023 - Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , ,

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