The Sunday Times found that despite the ban, Russian oil continues to flow into British refineries as if nothing had happened.
A picture: Shutterstock
Recently the head of EU diplomacy Joseph Borrell erupted with new threats against Russia and promised 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 imperative that all our partners understand what is at stake,” Borrell pitifully appealed to 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 good, of course, but none of them wanted to kill national economies with anti-Russian sanctions, or ruin their own businesses. 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 wrote at the same time about the schemes adopted by companies from Britain and the EU countries doing business with Russia.
The Sunday Times noted that despite the bans, Russian oil is as if nothing happened keeps coming to UK 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 when leaving Russian ports on tankers, oil passes through a chain of resellers, changes hands or is pumped directly into the sea to other ships, mixed there with “black gold” from different countries and stored in tanks. Then separate the “sanctioned” raw materials from the permitted ones.
Josep Borrell promised to adopt the next, already the ninth, sanctions package against Russia.
A picture: REUTERS
“This is how oil is treated around the world,” the paper quoted a senior analyst from the commodity analysis firm Kpler. Victor Katoemphasizing that oil and shipping companies have their share of the profits from such shrewd supply methods.
From December 5, London will completely ban the import of Russian oil. But who can guarantee that the tankers that come to the ports of Albion from the Netherlands, Germany or Belgium, for example, will not be splashed with banned raw materials from Russia?
By the way, oh Belgium. Here are some problems 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 what it had previously done with regard to gold. But, the newspaper writes, when the final project was approved, ALROSA disappeared from the list. And that happened for the second time this year. According to statistics from the National Bank of Belgium, the country imported 1.8 billion euros worth of Russian diamonds in 2021 and 1.2 billion euros in the first eight months of 2022.
Does it appear that the Belgians are sabotaging the anti-Russian policy of the European Union? The box opens easily. Representative of the Antwerp World Diamond Center Tom Naes told The Guardian that phasing out Russian diamonds would jeopardize the loss of 10,000 jobs. And this is for a delicate industry – like death.
“You run the risk that all 40 billion euros in annual turnover will go to India or Dubai and that they will become the largest diamond centers in the world,” explains Neis. “Is it a good idea to hurt ourselves in such a way that we 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 overall statistics of European trade with Russia after the launch of a special military operation in Ukraine. If we put aside Western chatter about sanctions, then the picture opens up amazingly: 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 agency Eurostat, decreased by 28.6% and amounted to 25.2 billion euros. On the other hand, Russian deliveries to EU countries increased by 85.8% compared to January-May last year and reached 101.8 billion euros. Our country is still third on the list of exporters to the EU, after China and the US.
It only says one thing. Western countries are confronted with rising energy prices and a record rise in inflation due to the sanctions. As a result, the industry in Europe quickly began to lose its competitive advantages. Smart people in the European Union are terribly afraid of this, and in order not to burn out completely, they imperceptibly try to hold the door to the Russian market with their foot, which politicians from Brussels are trying to slam and caulk with maniacal persistence .