Despite restrictions, Britain imports oil from Russia via India: Report

Although Britain led the West to impose sanctions on Russia, including a ban on Russian oil imports to cut off the Kremlin‘s source of funds, the UK imports Russian oil via India, it emerged. The Daily Telegraph reported that energy buyers supplying the UK, including BP and Shell increased their imports from Indian private crude oil refineries.
According to Kpler data analyzed by climate advocacy group Global Witness, the UK has imported 29 shipments, or 10 million barrels, of diesel and other refined products from private Indian refineries since the start of the war in India. Ukraine in February 2022, compared to seven shipments, or 4 million barrels, in 2021. The data lists energy buyers like Aramco, Shell, BP and PetroChina.
Crude oil from Russia is likely to be part of the diesel exported from India to the UK. “The UK oil embargo came into force on December 5 – but the refining loophole means Russian-origin oil can still enter the UK,” said Louis Wilson, head of Russian fossil fuels. for Global Witness. “Nearly a year after the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian oil that continues to flow to Europe is a failure of policy-making and prolonging the war in Ukraine.”
He told TOI that there was nothing illegal about it and that “the loophole is very deep in the text of the British embargo”. Although the UK bans imports of crude oil from Russia, if India refines oil into Indian diesel, it is no longer considered Russian oil, so it is legal to import even if every molecule comes from Russia, he said.
A spokesperson for the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “In light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and the weaponisation of energy, the government has put an end to all imports of Russian fossil fuels, including a ban on petroleum and petroleum products Importers must be able to provide proof that the goods are not of Russian origin.
However, Russian oil and petroleum products that have been refined in a third country will be considered non-Russian if the products have undergone substantial transformation, TOI understands.
A Shell spokesperson said: “Shell has taken its decision to withdraw from all Russian hydrocarbons with conviction. We respect this, in line with the directives of European governments, including the UK, and in full compliance sanctions, applicable laws and regulations.Under the continued guidance of these governments and through our strict internal controls, including strict no-Russian-origin contract clauses with suppliers, we seek to avoid fuels that may contain refined products in Russia.”

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