European nations continue to find ways to get around their own sanctions on Russian energy imposed in the wake of Moscow’s renewed invasion of Ukraine, with Germany now admitting their imports from intermediary India are soaring.
Imports of petroleum products from India by Germany — accused of reselling imported Russian oil to the rest of the world by the EU and others — have soared this year, including from $40 million in the first seven months of 2022 to $484 million in the same period of 2023. The meteoric rise is a 1,110 per cent increase in 12 months.
The figures from the German Federal Government show, Tagespiegel reports, much of the fresh imports are oils used to make heating oil and gas. While sanctions rules hit the direct and indirect importation of oil and gas from Russia, once they have been exported to a third party, refined and turned into a ‘new’ product, the rules no longer apply.
India is a major buyer of Russian crude oil.
Tagesschau reports the remarks of an analyst who says European embargos don’t really impact Russian oil exports and it is easy to see how India buys Russian oil and then sells it on in slightly modified form to European nations. Georg Zachmann told the publication it is: “very plausible that Germany and other European countries are implicitly buying Russian oil.”
This circumvention of Europe’s sanctions rules by European nations, including the giants like Germany which set the EU’s narratives and priorities, has long been understood. Top Eurocrat Josep Borrell spoke in May about the trade through India, saying “we have to act”.
As previously reported, imports of Russian natural gas — used for electricity generation and domestic heating and cooking — have also surged in the European Union this year. Again not impacted by EU sanctions if it is compressed and cooled into liquid form (LNG) then shipped to Europe before being converted back into a gas, imports are up 40 per cent this year compared to the same period in 2021.
Russia is second only to the United States as an LNG supplier to the European Union and on present trends 2023 is due to be the biggest year ever for imports of Russian fuel.
The United Kingdom also engaged in this trade, buying Russian oil derivatives through refineries in India and Turkey, and importing jet fuel made from Russian oil.
A campaigner against the trade said last month: “It’s shocking that countries in the EU have worked so hard to wean themselves off piped Russian fossil gas only to replace it with the shipped equivalent. It doesn’t matter if it comes from a pipeline or a boat — it still means European companies are sending billions to Putin’s war chest.”