EU imports Russian oil under Turkish label

Türkiye is exploiting a loophole in Western sanctions and supplying Russian oil to the EU – labeling it as Turkish. About it writes Politico.

The import of Russian fuel into the EU has been prohibited since February 2023, but if you change its brand, the sanctions can be legally circumvented. This scheme is possible due to the fact that “mixed” fuel can be imported into the EU if it is labeled as non-Russian.

Research has shown that due to relabeling of oil in only three Turkish ports – Ceyhan, Marmara Ereglisi and Mersin – Moscow received up to three billion euros per year.

Türkiye has become an important transit point for Russian oil products on their way to EU countries, the publication writes. Thus, for the period from February 2023 to February 2024, Turkey’s volume of fuel purchases from Russia increased by 105% compared to the previous 12 months. Turkish fuel exports to European Union countries increased by 107% over the same period.

Turkish refineries have the capacity to process about one million barrels of oil per day, allowing them to blend Russian oil with other products and legally export it to the EU as Turkish oil.

One of the main importers of such “mixed” fuel is Greece, despite Athens’ assurances that the country carries out appropriate controls at customs and does not allow violations.

The scheme illustrates the “creative” ways in which Russia is circumventing EU sanctions to continue supplying fuel, the revenue from which accounts for almost half of the country’s budget.

In February 2023, a ban on supplies of Russian petroleum products to the EU came into force. Now the bloc countries buy them from states that buy Russian oil. According to researchers who tracked tanker voyages, about 35 million barrels of oil from Russia were processed into fuel for the EU over the year. According to NGOs, both the UK and the US continued to buy diesel fuel from Russian oil.

In 2023, Moscow could earn more than one billion euros from the supply of oil, then processed into fuel for the EU market, it says in a study by the non-profit group Global Witness.

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