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China, Germany two largest customers of Russian energy since Ukraine invasion began

2nd Magistralnaya Street powerplants in Moscow
2nd Magistralnaya Street powerplants in Moscow | Wikipedia

July 5, 2022 8:33am

Updated: July 5, 2022 10:37am

China and Germany spent the most on Russian fossil fuel exports in the first 100 days of Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, according to oil industry analysts.

Russia has managed to export $97.7 billion worth of energy exports in the same 100-day period, from Feb. 24 to June 4, despite international sanctions and import bans, reported Visual Capitalist.

This averages out to about $977 million per day.

Russian energy imports from Feb. 24 to June 4, by country
Russian energy imports from Feb. 24 to June 4, by country | Visual Capitalist

Data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) showed that China spent $13.2 billion on Russian energy exports in the observed period – 13.5% of Russian energy export revenue in the period –  with the vast majority on crude oil.

China had initially held out on purchasing Russian fuel exports after the outbreak of the Ukraine war over fears of being sanctioned by the West alongside its long-time ally. But Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become China’s single largest source of crude in May, reported The Washington Post last month.

Germany came in second at around $12.7 billion spent – 12.9% of Russian fossil fuel export revenue. Unlike China, it spent two-thirds its money on Russian pipeline gas.

Berlin’s dependence on Russian gas has been a thorn in the side of European nations who moved cut off a key source of revenue to Moscow for invading its neighbor.

Michael Shellenberger, author and self-proclaimed opponent of “environmental alarmism,” wrote in March about how the U.S., U.K. and European Union’s pursuit of “green energy” policies made them more dependent on Russian fossil fuels.

As an example, he cited out how in 2016, 30% of natural gas consumed by the European Union came from Russia. This amount increased to 40% in 2018 and almost 47% by 2021 due in part to the shuttering of shale fields and nuclear plants.

% Reduction in Monthly Import Volumes from Russia, by country
% Reduction in Monthly Import Volumes from Russia, by country | Visual Capitalist

When it came to reducing reliance on Russian energy, the U.S. and Sweden came out on top because both banned Russian fossil fuel exports entirely.

Lithuania came in second, reducing monthly import volumes from Russia by 78% from the beginning of the Ukraine war to May 2022.