Ignoring the embargo, Russian intermediaries in third countries, especially in India, continue to supply oil to the European Union, as reported by RBC-Ukraine with reference to Spiegel.
According to Spiegel, every day at least two tankers of Russian oil arrive at ports in India, which amounts to about 70 tankers per month. Some of this oil eventually finds its way into the EU.
The EU has imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia since the beginning of the conflict with Ukraine. Since December 2022, Russian oil has been banned from being imported into the EU by sea, and since February 2023, an embargo on diesel fuel and gasoline has been introduced. However, this does not mean that Russian oil has stopped getting to Europe in a processed form.
According to data analytics company Kpler, after the imposition of sanctions, world oil transportation was redistributed: tankers carrying Russian oil head east to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and especially India, rather than west to the EU.
India has several oil refineries on its west coast, including the largest in the world. Here, Russian oil is processed into gasoline and diesel fuel. And it seems that these products are coming back to Europe.
In April, India shipped more fuel to the EU than ever before, ahead of even Saudi Arabia, according to data from Kpler.
India refused to impose sanctions against Moscow, increasing oil imports to 40% of its needs. Before the war it was only 1%. However, the supply of petroleum products to the EU is not actually illegal, since refined products are considered Indian. At the same time, the Vadinar oil refinery in India is almost 50% owned by the Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft.
Recall, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said that the European Union should take tough measures against India’s resale of Russian oil to Europe as fuel.
Note that in 2022, Russian oil imports to India increased tenfold.