Over the past year, the European Union was the top buyer of Russia’s fossil fuels, namely coal, oil and gas, according to the latest estimates by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA).
This is despite the bloc’s sanctions, which include a ban on Russian seaborne crude and coal imports and a price cap on oil and petroleum products from the country.
Since the launch of its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Russia has earned over $315 billion from international sales of its fossil fuels, with $149 billion, about half of the total, coming from EU member states.
However, during the two months through March 4, China overtook the EU to become the biggest buyer of Russian energy commodities. The Asian country has mostly imported crude oil, which made up over 80% of its energy purchases worth more than $55 billion.
Earlier this month, CREA analysts reported that in the week through February 26 the top five EU importer countries were Austria, Slovakia, Spain, Poland and the Czech Republic. Germany was the top buyer over the past year.