Despite Sanctions, Russia Has Sold Over $66B in Fossil Fuels Since Invasion

Russia has sold over $66 billion worth of fossil fuels since it invaded Ukraine despite sanctions cautioning against buying gas and oil, according to a report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

The report, which was published on Wednesday, found that Europe was the largest importer with Russia selling over $46 billion worth of fossil fuels to different countries.

"Fossil fuel exports are a key enabler of Russia's military buildup and brutal aggression against Ukraine," the report read.

In early March, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will ban all Russian oil imports into the United States in an effort to harm Russia's economy over the war in Ukraine. This includes U.S. ports rejecting Russian oil imports. However, the U.S. relies less on Russian oil than European countries.

Germany was the largest spender in the EU as it bought around 9.1 billion euros ($9.5 billion) worth of fossil fuels since February 24, according to the report which focuses on who purchases Russia's oil, gas and coal and the change in the volume and value of imports since the war in Ukraine began.

Meanwhile, Italy was ranked the second largest importer after Germany as it spent 6.9 billion euros ($7.2 billion), China 6.7 billion euros (slightly over $7 billion), the Netherlands 5.6 billion euros ($5.8 billion), Turkey 4.1 billion euros ($4.3 billion), and France 3.8 billion euros (around $3.9 billion).

However, the think tank noted that deliveries to the EU declined by 20 percent and coal fell by 40 percent, while LNG deliveries rose by 20 percent. Oil deliveries from Russia to foreign ports declined by 20 percent during the first three weeks of April compared with January and February before the invasion.

"EU gas purchases through pipelines increased by 10%. Oil deliveries to non-EU destinations increased by 20%, and with major changes in destinations. Deliveries of coal and LNG outside the EU increased by 30% and 80%, respectively," the report read.

Oil shipments to non-EU countries such as India and Egypt among other destinations have increased, but these shipments are still not enough to make up for the decline in exports to Europe.

The report also pointed out that Russia is finding it difficult to divert cargoes that were rejected by European buyers.

"There has been a sharp increase in vessels leaving Russian ports without a definite destination," the center said.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP, Repsol are among the oil firms that continue to buy Russian fossil fuels, according to the report. Meanwhile Hyundai Steel and Mitsubishi are among the industrial companies taking in Russian fossil fuels.

Newsweek reached out to the European Commission for comments.

Russia Sold Over $46B In fossil fuels
A new report revealed that Russia has sold over $66 billion worth of fossil fuels since it invaded Ukraine despite sanctions cautioning against buying gas and oil. Pictured above, LNG (Liquefied natural gas) tanker Rudolf Samoylovich, sailing under the flag of Bahamas, moors at the dock in western France, on March 10 Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images