Russia’s oil revenue soars despite sanctions, study finds

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered global condemnation and tough sanctions aimed at denting Moscow’s war chest. Yet Russia’s revenues from fossil fuels, by far its biggest export, soared to records in the first 100 days of its war on Ukraine, driven by a windfall from oil sales amid surging prices, a new analysis shows.

Russia earned what is very likely a record 93 billion euros(about $97 million) in revenue from exports of oil, gas and coal in the first 100 days of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, according to data analyzed by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air, a research organization based in Helsinki. About two-thirds of those earnings, the equivalent of about $97 billion, came from oil, and most of the remainder from natural gas.

“The current rate of revenue is unprecedented, because prices are unprecedented, and export volumes are close to their highest levels on record,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst who led the center’s research.

The revenue from Russia’s fossil fuel exports exceeds what the country is spending on its war in Ukraine, the research center estimated.

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Ukrainian officials again called on countries and firms to halt their trade with Russia completely.

“We’re asking the world to do everything possible in order to cut off Putin and his war machine from all possible financing, but it’s taking much too long,” Oleg Ustenko, an economic adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine, said from Kyiv about President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Though Russia’s fossil fuel exports have started to fall somewhat by volume, as more countries and companies shun trading with Moscow, surging prices have more than canceled out the effects of that decline.

The European Union made most progress on reducing its imports of natural gas from Russia, buying 23% less in the first 100 days of the invasion than the same period the previous year.

The EU also reduced its imports of Russian crude oil, which declined 18% in May. But that dip was made up by India and the United Arab Emirates, leading to no net change in Russia’s oil export volumes, the research showed.

Overall, China was the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels over the 100-day period. China imported the most oil; Japan was the top purchaser of Russian coal.

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