Russian oil ban not enough to stop them funding war says expert

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The International Energy Agency has said that Russia’s oil revenue have soared by 50 percent in 2022, despite several energy giants pulling out of the country. In every month in 2022 so far, a staggering £16billion from sales of crude oil and products has poured into Putin’s pockets, the agency said in its monthly report. China and India have reportedly been keen customers, picking up cargoes that several energy giants like Shell and BP no longer want.

It comes after British giants Shell and BP have pulled the plug on various energy projects in the country, while Exxon has also slashed ties.

BP said it would abandon its 20 percent stake in Rosneft, Russia’s state owned oil gaint, which could Russia around £18billion according to some estimates.

Shell pulled out of a liquified natural gas project Sakhalin-2, which it had a 27.5 percent stake, and it is also ditching its 50 percent stake in the Salym Petroleum Development and the Gydan energy venture.

Shell’s chief executive officer, Ben van Beurden, said in a statement: “We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security.

“Our decision to exit is one we take with conviction. We cannot — and we will not — stand by. Our immediate focus is the safety of our people in Ukraine and supporting our people in Russia.”

The EU has also played a significant part Putin’s huge profits and it is still yet to slap a ban on Russian oil.

But it is eyeing up a ban, put forward in a proposal by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

She said in a European Parliament speech: “This will be a complete ban on all Russian oil, seaborn and pipeline, crude and refined.

“We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion so in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and at the same time be very careful that we minimise the impact on the global market.”

But at present, Russian oil still appears to be pouring into the bloc nine days after Ms von der Leyen first proposed the ban.

Hungary has been a key voice opposing the ban, which President Viktor Orban has called a “nuclear bomb”.

And as all 27 member states need to support the sanctions for it to pass, the EU is struggling to make headway.

This is despite paying Russia a staggering €48.5billion (£38billion) of crude oil in 2021, and €22.5billion (£19billion) of petroleum oils other than crude.

The European Parliament has unleashed fury at the Commission for its delayed response.

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Spanish MEP Luis Garicano said in a speech: “If Europe does not stop funding Putin, history will not see us as bystanders. History will know we were complicit.”

He added: “Our energy addiction, our money, allows the killing of Ukrainians, the killing of fellow Europeans whose only crime was to believe in our freedoms.

“Is it not clear that our gas is tainted with blood?”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed his outrage at the EU and other countries still buying Russia’s oil, baffled as to how they can hand money to someone “earning their money in other people’s blood”.

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