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28 April 2022

Europe’s fossil fuel imports have funded Russia’s war

EU countries have bought €44bn of Russian energy since the invasion of Ukraine began.

By Afiq Fitri

More than €60bn worth of fossil fuel imports have sailed into Russia’s coffers since the war began, according to a new analysis of oil, gas, coal shipments and pipeline exports released by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) today (28 April).

Germany remains the biggest importer of Russian fossil fuels, purchasing approximately €9.1bn worth of coal, crude oil and pipeline gas in the past two months. Other European countries including Italy, the Netherlands and France have also collectively paid more than €16bn for fossil fuel imports.  

The data shows that countries across the European Union account for more than 70 per cent of Russia’s profits from oil, gas and coal (€44bn) since the invasion of Ukraine started on 24 February.  



Analysts from CREA also said they tracked fossil fuel deliveries to facilities or ships linked to major oil companies including ExxonMobil, Shell, Total, Repsol and BP, while a quarter of Russia’s fossil fuel shipments arrived in ports located in the Netherlands, Italy, Poland and Belgium.  

These findings highlight the difficulties in preventing Russia from exploiting its dominance in the global energy market, despite a raft of sanctions and declining volumes of fossil fuel exports. The ongoing imports of oil and gas through pipelines coupled with soaring fuel prices have meant that Russia’s export revenue is still higher than in previous years, according to the CREA.  

“Every drop of oil bought and shipped from Russia is another drop of Ukrainian blood spilled, and every piece of Russian coal is another bullet fired into Ukrainians,” said Kostiantyn Krynytsky, head of the energy department at the Ukrainian NGO Ecoaction. 

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