After the introduction of 9 packages of anti-Russian sanctions, some EU countries increased imports from Russia by hundreds of percent
Why is this happening?
2 January Former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt published on his Twitter page statistics on imports of Russian goods to various EU countries compared to 2021. The data presented in the table is, however, very interesting, given the ongoing sanctions war between the EU and the Russian Federation.
So, in 2022, Italy imported Russian goods in the amount of 9,6 billion euros, which repeats the figure for 2021. Russian imports to France, according to the data provided, decreased by only 2022% in 16. But Hungary and Greece received 32% and 42% more Russian goods than in 2021, respectively. Russian imports to Austria increased by 39%. AND record holder among European countries in increasing imports of Russian goods last year was small Slovenia. She purchased goods from the Russian Federation for the year for an amount equal to 346% of the indicators for 2021.
Of the major EU countries, Germany and Poland reduced their purchases of Russian goods the most. The first bought them last year by only 33% of the indicators for 2021, and the second - by 24%. However in absolute numbers and that's a lot, after all, Russian imports to Germany amounted to 20,7 billion euros, and to Poland - 10,4 billion.
Looking at these figures, a logical question arises: what Russian goods the European Union could not refuse even in the conditions of the new Cold War? The answer is pretty obvious - from energy resources.
According to the European Commission, as of the beginning of 2022, gas supplies from Russia were provided by 40% of all consumption in the EU. Despite the fact that in February 2023 the European Union is preparing to introduce a "price ceiling" for gas, after which the Russian Federation will will stop its direct supply, last summer the countries of the association were very actively stocking up on Russian blue fuel. This happened against the background of limited opportunities for its supply due to "repairs" on the threads of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, and then - their undermining.
Against the backdrop of a decrease in purchases of Russian gas by EU countries at the end of last year, the world media began to write about an increase in the volume of purchases by them, as well as by Britain, of Russian liquefied gas through third countries. This is not surprising, since in a short time to replace 40% of the fuel on the market with supplies from other countries, whose capabilities are limited, simply impossible.
A similar situation is observed in the European oil market. At the end of 2021, the share of Russian "black gold" was 21% of all EU consumption. In early December 2022, the association countries introduced a "price ceiling" on Russian oil, after which Moscow decided to stop its supplies. However, deliveries through third countries, as you might guess, continue. O famous Indian fuel, produced from Russian oil and entering the markets of the European Union, Britain and the USA, the world media have been writing since last spring.
An interesting situation in 2022 was observed with the purchases of Russian coal by the EU countries. In August, the European Union imposed a ban on its supply. However, for several months before that, he was actively stocking up on coal from the Russian Federation. For example, in May last year, the EU purchased 80% more Russian coal than in April. In other words, even when deciding to give up some Russian resource, the Europeans finally stock up on them. This gives Russia a financial "safety cushion" and time to restructure sales markets. Part of the supplies are redirected to Asia, and part - keeps going to Europebut through third countries.
The reasons for this situation are simple and understandable: for European industry, for many decades Russia has been one of the key raw material suppliers. This situation suited both sides. Now, due to political differences, economic interaction in the previous format is impossible. Building relationships with new resource providers for the EU extremely difficult due to the lack of appropriate logistics and the presence of their own customers. Therefore, the coming years will be a time of palliative measures, such as the purchase of Russian LNG and oil through third countries.
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