As of today, the European Union is imposing a ban on Russian refined oil products like diesel fuel, following previous sanctions imposed on the import of coal and on crude oil coming from Russia.
“We expect to ensure sufficient alternative supplies, as it was done when similar sanctions were imposed in crude oil,” in December 2022, said Tim McPhie, European Commission Energy. Prior to the invasion of Ukraine, the EU had a huge energy dependence on Russia, with more than 40% of imports coming from the motherland, therefore analysts for Eurasia Group warned the ban “will probably have a more disruptive effect than previous EU crude-import sanctions.”
The ban is part of European Union’s sixth package of sanctions against Russia in response to the military aggression against Ukraine, adopted in June last year. Also, in December EU and G7 countries agreed to set a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian oil. “This decision will limit price surges driven by extraordinary market conditions and drastically reduce the revenues Russia has been earning from oil since it unleashed its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. It will also serve to stabilise global energy prices while mitigating adverse consequences on energy supply to third countries,” states the European Council.
Despite sanctions, in 2022, Russia billed Europe more than 51 billion euros for gas purchases. Meanwhile, Europe has increased imports from India, China, the Middle East and the US. So much that U.S. shipments have reached record levels, from 34,000 barrels a day at the beginning of 2022 to 237,000 barrels per day in January this year, according to S&P Global.