The Sunday Times found that despite the bans, Russian oil continues to flow to British refineries as if nothing had happened.
A photo: Shutterstock
The other day the head of EU diplomacy Josep Borrell burst out with new threats against Russia, promising to take the next, already the ninth, package of sanctions against our country. “We will hold Russia accountable! Additional restrictive measures will be introduced as soon as possible. It is necessary that all our partners understand what is at stake,” Borrell pathetically appealed to the EU member states. Politicians and entrepreneurs in European capitals, as before, nodded in agreement, but at the same time thought about their shirts, which, as you know, are closer to the body. Western solidarity is, of course, good, but none of them wanted to kill national economies with anti-Russian sanctions, ruin their own business. Therefore, many cunning European companies have learned to deftly bypass the numerous barriers that Brussels has erected on trade routes with Moscow.
OIL WILL FIND THE WAY
Last Sunday, two London newspapers at once wrote about the schemes that have been adopted by firms from Britain and the EU countries that do business with Russia.
The Sunday Times found that despite the bans, Russian oil is as if nothing had happened keeps coming to British refineries. This has already brought almost a billion dollars to the treasury of the Russian Federation from March to October of this year. The secret is that, leaving Russian ports on tankers, oil passes through a chain of resellers, changing its owner, or is pumped directly into the sea to other ships, mixing there with “black gold” from different countries, and stored in tanks. Then go and separate the “sanctioned” raw materials from the permitted ones.
Josep Borrell promised to adopt the next, already the ninth, package of sanctions against Russia.
A photo: REUTERS
“This is how oil is handled all over the world,” the paper quoted a senior analyst at commodity analytics firm Kpler as saying. Victor Catoemphasizing that oil and shipping companies have their share of the profits from such cunning methods of supply.
From December 5, London is going to completely ban the import of Russian oil. But who will guarantee that the tankers that will come to the ports of Albion, say, from the Netherlands, Germany or Belgium, will not splash with prohibited raw materials from Russia?
By the way, oh Belgium. Here are some troubles with sanctions. As you know, the city of Antwerp in this small kingdom is the world’s largest diamond processing center. So, according to the British newspaper The Guardian, 25% of them come from Russia – from ALROSA. In September, the EU leadership decided to impose sanctions on the company, imposing a ban on the import of Russian diamonds, similar to how it had previously been done with respect to gold. But, the newspaper writes, when the final project was approved, ALROSA disappeared from the list. And it happened for the second time this year. According to the statistics of the National Bank of Belgium, in 2021 the country imported Russian diamonds worth 1.8 billion euros, and in the first eight months of 2022 – 1.2 billion euros.
It turns out that the Belgians are sabotaging the anti-Russian policy of the European Union? The casket opens easily. Representative of the Antwerp World Diamond Center Tom Naes told The Guardian that phasing out Russian diamonds would jeopardize 10,000 job cuts. And this is for a delicate industry – like death.
“You end up with the risk that all 40 billion euros of annual turnover will go to India or Dubai, and they will become the largest diamond centers in the world,” Neis explains. “Is it a good idea to hurt ourselves in such a way as to destroy our own economy?” Why give it to countries that today have no problems in relations with Russia? You reward countries that do the opposite of what you want them to do.
The two examples above illustrate well the general statistics of European trade with Russia after the start of a special military operation in Ukraine. If we discard Western chatter about sanctions, then the picture opens up amazing: according to the results of 5 months of 2022 foreign trade turnover between Russia and the EU countries amounted to 127 billion euros. This is 41% more than in 2021.
Yes, export from EU, according to the Eurostat agency, decreased by 28.6% and amounted to 25.2 billion euros. On the other hand, Russian deliveries to the EU countries increased by 85.8% compared to January-May last year and reached 101.8 billion euros. Our country still ranks third in the list of exporters to the EU after China and the US.
It only says one thing. Because of the sanctions, Western countries are faced with rising energy prices and a record surge in inflation. As a result, the industry in Europe began to quickly lose its competitive advantages. Smart people in the European Union are terribly afraid of this and, in order not to burn out completely, they try to imperceptibly hold with their foot the door leading to the Russian market, which politicians from Brussels are trying to slam and caulk with maniacal persistence.