Europe has bought $46 billion worth of Russian energy since the start of the Ukrainian invasion

The European Union’s imports of Russian fossil fuels reached 44 billion euros ($46.3 billion) as of February 24, today. Russia launched its invasion, Until April 24. That’s more than twice the value of Russian energy imported by EU countries during the same two-month period last year, CREA chief analyst Laurie Mylvirta told CNN.

And it was high prices, not quantities, that accounted for most of that increase.

The European Union accounted for about 70% of Russia’s fossil fuel export revenue globally, which amounted to 63 billion euros ($66.3 billion) in the two-month period.

Energy prices have risen over the past year as states emerge from lockdowns, driving up demand. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine gave another boost to oil and gas prices. OPEC member countries also failed to fulfill Promised production increasesfurther tighten the width.

The European Union imported 10% more Russian gas through pipelines in the two-month period, and 20% more liquefied natural gas, but the export volumes of Russian oil and coal to the bloc fell by 20% and 40%, respectively.

The findings were published as Europe comes under mounting pressure to ban Russian oil imports and accelerate its move away from Russian gas to stop the Kremlin’s enrichment, indirectly financing the war in Ukraine.

It also comes as Russian energy company Gazprom has cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, in a bid to pressure European companies more broadly to pay in rubles. Russia is trying Support its rising currency.

The Russian economy was affected by Western sanctions that targeted the province’s central bank and froze about half of the country’s $600 billion foreign reserves.

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“The fact that their coffers are bloated with the windfall they got from fossil fuel prices is a very bad outcome,” Mylifera told CNN.

Getting rid of Russia’s fossil fuels quickly will present a challenge to the 27-nation bloc, which before the war relied on Russia for about 40% of its imports are natural gasAs well as 27% of its oil and 46% of its coal imports. The abrupt discontinuation of these purchases will have serious implications for consumers and businesses.

It presents a particular challenge for Germany, which has been the largest single buyer of Russian fossil fuels globally since the invasion, with purchases worth 9.1 billion euros, according to CREA.

This graph by CREA shows the 20 largest importers of Russian fossil fuels according to Vale in the two months since Russia invaded Ukraine.  Uses data from Eurostat, ENTSO-G and UN COMTRADE.

Italy was the second largest buyer, moving 6.9 billion euros to Russia, followed by China, the Netherlands, Turkey and France.

The European Union has pledged to break its dependence on Russian energy by 2027, and is working on an oil embargo that could be announced as early as next week, but the report shows that the diversification measures announced so far will not achieve much in the short term. .

Russian gas customers in Europe may accept Putin's payment terms

“Everything that has been announced about green energy and energy efficiency is impressive, if you look at the potential impact over the next few years,” Mylifera said.

“But then, as we mentioned, the short-term component — which would do as much as possible to reduce Russia’s revenue in the near term — was really missing.”

To reach its conclusions, CREA researchers tracked seaborne deliveries using ship position data (AIS) and pipeline deliveries using data from Eurostat and the European Network of Gas Transportation Systems Operators.

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Several European energy companies are now in talks with Gazprom about their gas contracts. Germany’s Uniper and Austria’s OMV said, on Thursday, that they believe it is possible to comply with Moscow’s new payment mechanism without being subjected to EU sanctions.

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