Vladimir Putin Photograph:( AFP )
Russia received $104bn from its crude, petrol and diesel exports to Europe and UK last year
If a recent study is to be believed, European countries are making oil payments amounting to $285 million (£217 million) every day to Russia, which is then helping Putin to fund his war against Ukraine.
New analysis by the Transport & Environment (T&E) thinktank estimates that Russia received $104bn from its crude, petrol and diesel exports to Europe and UK last year, more than twice the $43bn it took from gas shipments.
“Europe is sending over a quarter of a billion to Putin every day, even as he wages war in its own backyard. This has to end. But we should not simply swap Russian oil for Saudi oil. It’s time to greatly improve transport efficiency and turbocharge the electrification of transport to drive down our oil consumption,” William Todts, executive director of T&E, said.
European countries are reliant on Russian oil for over a quarter of their crude oil.
While some European countries like Slovakia are dependent on Russia for over 90 per cent of their oil, the continent’s dependence as a whole, while significant, is not significant, the analysis shows.
The report was released just days ahead of the announcement made by the US to ban Russian oil imports. Shell also said that it would shut down its Russian petrol stations and oil spot purchases.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson is also expected to make a statement later this week on reducing British imports of Russian gas. Apart from that, several European countries are working out alternatives to end reliance on Russian oil.
Reacting to the US measures, Russia’s deputy prime minister Alexander Novak, said that any rejection of Russian oil would have “catastrophic consequences” and could send prices as high as $300 a barrel.
Europe imported more than 200m tonnes of oil from Russia each year between 2004 and 2017, even increasing its purchases in the two years after Russia seized Crimea in 2014.
(With inputs from agencies)