Germany has continued importing large volumes of Russian oil, turning to India as a substitute supplier after the EU banned almost all crude imports from Moscow in early December.
According to a Der Spiegel report on Tuesday, Berlin’s imports of petroleum products from India jumped more than twelvefold in January-July 2023 year-on-year.
The value of those imports soared from €37 million ($39 million) in the first seven months of 2022 to $484 million during the same period of 2023, the outlet’s analysis of official data reportedly showed.
The imports from India “were mainly gas oils that are used to produce diesel or heating oil,” the report said, noting that New Delhi has recently been producing a significant proportion of those gas oils from Russian crude oil.
Germany, which has historically been the largest EU buyer of Russian oil, stopped imports via pipelines on January 1, despite the fact that the latest EU embargo exempts piped deliveries to the bloc from the sanctioned country.
Official data by German statistical office Destatis shows that Berlin’s imports of Russian crude oil have ceased almost entirely amid the sanctions. Statistics, however, do not count crude of Russian origin purchased indirectly from global traders through ship-to-ship transfers. According to Der Spiegel, citing data, some volumes of Russian oil bought by India later end up in Germany in some form.