The quantity of Russia’s marine oil exports has recovered to close to pre-invasion levels, writes ECB Economic Bulletin. The reason behind such recovery is historically high discounts and some diversion of flows towards large Asian countries.
The most noticeable increase in Russian oil imports can be seen for China and India - to 11% and 14% respectively in end-June, up from 6% and 2% before the war.
This observation comes a just few days apart from news about some European countries, such as Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria, increasing volumes of bought crude Russian oil ahead of sanctions coming into effect in December 2022, published by Bloomberg.
Some of these cargoes were identified as non-Russian, even though they are of Russian grade shipped from Russian ports.
All of it together shows just how difficult it will be to enforce restrictions on the Russian oil trade. However, trading future peace and safety for cheap oil should not be something of common practice for democratic countries. It is time to come to terms with the need to cut off Russian oil imports. And for the world leaders, it is time to think of actions that will help to enforce upcoming oil restrictions to help them do their job.