The European Union’s energy imports from Russia have decreased significantly since the Ukraine conflict started, but rising fuel costs mean that the EU has still spent more than $100 billion on Russian fossil fuels this year.
While European sanctions have banned coal imports and significantly reduced gas imports, the EU spends about $260 million per day on fuel products, like crude oil and LNG gas, according to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA). The EU has paid Russia as much for gas this year as it did in the first half of 2021, despite receiving a fraction of the amount. CREA estimates that if EU officials had introduced price caps, as well as sanctions, Russian fuel revenues could have been cut by $11 billion.
The EU remained the largest importer of Russian fossil fuels in September, but other countries bought larger shares of Russian fuel. India, China, Turkey and Malaysia had the largest increases compared with their imports at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In spite of this demand, Russia exported less fuel last month, losing an estimated 14% in revenue compared to August.