The Future of Russian Energy Exports under Sanctions

The Future of Russian Energy Exports under Sanctions

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the European Union (EU) has pursued policies aimed at shifting its energy sources away from Russia. This has resulted in a decline in the bloc’s dependence on Russian energy. Meanwhile, Russia has focused on exporting oil and natural gas to regions outside the EU to maintain its resource revenue. This paper analyzes the achievements and challenges facing this EU policy of ‘de-Russification’ and the trends among countries actively purchasing fossil fuels from Russia. It also examines the outlook for sanctions against Russia.

The Achievements and Challenges of ‘De-Russification’

Faced with the crisis in Ukraine, the EU has strengthened sanctions against Russia, attempting to break free of its dependence on Russian fossil fuels to stem the flow of resource revenue into the Russian war machine. After halting crude oil imports by sea in December 2022, the EU went on to prohibit the import of petroleum products in February 2023. While attempting to reduce its natural gas consumption by 15% to control the amount of Russian gas imported, the EU also plans an import embargo on all Russia-sourced energy by 2027. The G7 countries and the EU have also set an export price cap of USD 60/barrel on Russian crude oil as an additional sanction.

The EU’s de-Russification policy has successfully reduced the entire bloc’s dependence on Russian energy. Russia’s share in extra-EU imports of petroleum oil fell dramatically from 27% before the invasion of Ukraine (in the fourth quarter of 2021) to 3% after the embargo came into effect (in the fourth quarter of 2023). Natural gas imports also decreased from 33% to 13%[1].

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