Russian oil still has backdoor into EU, MEPs demand better enforcement of sanctions

Rise in imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India, makes it a backdoor route for the Kremlin’s oil into the EU

Members of the European Parliament approved by a show of hands a resolution calling for better EU oversight on Russian ability to bypass international sanctions.

Pointing to Russia’s ability to circumvent measures, such as the price cap on oil sanctions introduced by EU member states and the so-called Price Cap Coalition, MEPs denounced the rise in imports of petroleum products made with Russian oil from countries such as India, dubbing it a backdoor route for the Kremlin’s oil into the EU.

They also said that confiscated Russian assets in Europe should be used for the reconstruction of Ukraine, the country that is defending itself from the war waged on its borders from Moscow.

Even critical Western components are still finding their way to Russia via countries like China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Serbia.

MEPs decided the ongoing trade in sanctioned war-critical goods between EU member states and Moscow, accusing countries like Azerbaijan of whitewashing Russian gas for export to the EU.

The European Union still remains one of Russia’s largest fossil fuel clients, due to continued imports of pipeline gas and LNG, as well as various exceptions to the ban on importing crude oil and oil products.

While conceding that the sanctions on Russia are unprecedented in their scope, MEPs called for better enforcement to strategically weaken Russia’s ability to wage war.

They called for a proper closure of the EU market for Russian-origin fossil fuels, and to impose sanctions on all the major Russian oil companies, Gazprombank, their subsidiaries and their boards and management.

MEPs also want to substantially lower the price cap on Russian oil and on petroleum products, impose a full ban on Russian LNG and LPG imports, as well as on the import of fuel and other petroleum products from non-EU countries if those products were produced using Russian oil.

They also called for the EU to prohibit the shipment of Russian oil and LNG exports through EU territory and to introduce price and volume caps on EU imports of Russian and Belarusian fertilisers.

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