Russian energy minister Nikolai Shulginov claimed on Tuesday that all oil exports affected by Western sanctions have been rerouted to “friendly” countries.
Shulginov said in an energy forum that “we have managed to completely redirect the entire volume of exports affected by the embargo. There was no decrease in sales”.
A number of sanctions were imposed on Russia, including an embargo on sea-borne Russian oil imports, following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Prior to sanctions, Russian oil accounted for 90% of EU oil imports. However, the EU imposed a ban last month, almost a year on from Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine. A price cap was also placed on Russian oil transported via sea, in line with the G7 meeting last year which came into place last month.
Amid the sanctions, Russia has turned to allied or neutral nations as new importers. Russian oil exports to India have increased by 2200% since the introduction of sanctions according Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.
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India is the primary importer of Ural Mountain seaborne oil accounting for 50% of exports, with China, another key importer, coming second.
Russia is a key ally of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which includes Iran, Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates among others.
Novak told the energy forum that energy revenues accounted for 42% of Russia’s federal budget in 2022, up from 36% the year before. He insisted that the industry was stable despite Western sanctions, stating that: “most of our energy resources have been redirected to other, friendlier markets”.
Despite his assurances, Russia cut crude oil production by 500,000 barrels per day this month, reducing daily output by 5%.
According to the International Energy Agency Russian oil export revenue fell sharply last month to $11.6bn, down $2.7bn when compared with January.