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Oil tanker in the port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea (in October 2022)

Photo: dpa

Russia apparently sold almost all of its oil to China and India in the year that is coming to an end. China's share alone is about 45 to 50 percent, said Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak. India's share has risen from almost zero to 40 percent within two years. "In the past, there were practically no deliveries to India," Novak told the state TV channel Rossiya-24.

Russia had already expanded its relations with Asian countries before the war in Ukraine, Nowak said. The sanctions imposed by Europe and the United States have only accelerated the reorientation to the East. Europe's share of Russian crude oil exports has slumped from around 40 to 45 percent to about four to five percent.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the US and the EU imposed sanctions on the Russian energy industry and gradually tightened them. For example, punitive measures by the USA against the liquefied natural gas project Arctic LNG 2 of the Russian company Novatec were recently announced. According to a report in the Russian newspaper »Kommersant«, foreign shareholders withdrew from the project as a result.

In addition, the industrialized countries gathered in the G7 had decreed a price cap for Russian oil transported by Western shipping companies or such cargoes insured by Western insurance companies. Nevertheless, Russia was able to sell its oil last year at significantly better prices than the planned cap of $60 per barrel.

One factor in this was the joint decision by Saudi Arabia and Russia to cap production volumes. Moreover, despite the G7's price cap, the oil is apparently also frequently transported by ships of Western shipping companies.