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Countries that have doubled their demand for Russian oil and gas, while others have reduced it

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When Russia launched an unprecedented attack on Ukraine earlier this year, Western nations joined forces to impose sanctions on the country in an effort to punish Russia for its actions.

Punitive measures range from blocking access to certain Russian banks to the global SWIFT banking system and blocking EU and other European countries from blocking Russian flights in their airspace.

As the war continues, countries are now imposing sanctions on Russia’s energy sector, which has the largest gas reserves in the world and is the world’s third largest oil producer, accounting for about 12 percent of world oil production.

This is how some countries are facing energy problems in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Italy

Italy is tempering its dependence on Russian gas by turning to countries such as Egypt and Algeria for energy supplies.

Eni, the Italian oil and gas giant, recently signed a framework agreement with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), which it said would help maximize gas production and liquefied natural gas exports.

According to Reuters, Italy accounts for about 40 percent of Russia’s gas imports. It also agreed to increase its gas imports from Algeria by about 40% during the war.

The Baltic States

This month, the Baltic states, which include Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, reduced Russian gas imports.

“As of April 1, Russian natural gas is no longer circulating in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania,” Uldis Bariss, CEO of Conexus Baltic Grid, Latvia’s natural gas storage operator, told Al Jazeera.

Lithuania became the first European country to abandon Russian energy supplies following the war in Ukraine.

“If we can do that, so can the rest of Europe!” Gitanas Nauseda, the country’s president, said on Twitter.

US

Outside Europe, the United States has banned imports of Russian oil and gas. President Joe Biden announced the “strong blow” against Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.

“This is a step we are taking to bring more pain to Putin, but there will be costs here in the United States,” Biden said.

US consumers are feeling the effects of rising gas prices due to pandemic inflation, along with new sanctions on energy supplies in Russia. In March, the average price of a gallon of US gasoline exceeded $ 4 for the first time since 2008.

UK

The UK government recently announced measures against Russia’s energy supply, pledging to end all imports of Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022.

“By the end of 2022, the United Kingdom will put an end to all dependence on Russian coal and oil and put an end to gas imports as soon as possible,” the government said.

He added that the United Kingdom would also ban the export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts, “reducing Russia’s ability to produce and export oil.”

Other sanctions include measures against Aleksandr Diukov, the general manager of Russia’s third largest oil producer, Gazprom Neft.

Germany

The country is facing increasing pressure to give up Russian energy, although it is heavily dependent on it, especially for natural gas flowing through the Nord Stream pipeline.

However, severing ties with Russia could be a lengthy process. Reducing the use of Russian gas in the German economy would have a significant impact on industrial production and could lead to rationalization schemes.

According to Bloomberg, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We are working hard to become independent of the need to import gas from Russia. This, as you can imagine, is not so easy, because the infrastructure needs to be built first. “

India and China

Against the backdrop of energy-depleting countries in Russia, India and China have taken a different approach.

As far-reaching sanctions have affected Russia’s oil exports, their prices have fallen so much that some buyers in India and China have been lured to buy cheap energy from Russia.

Reuters wrote that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, India has bought at least 13 million barrels of Russian oil. However, it does not stop at cheap oil. And Russian coal is in India’s attention.

Ramchandra Prasad Singh, an Indian politician and member of parliament, told a New Delhi conference that India was “moving in the direction of importing coking coal from Russia,” according to Reuters. He added that India imported 4.5 million tonnes of Russian coal, but did not say when.

Regarding China buys Russian oil and coal with its own currency. China’s smaller independent refineries are still buying discreet Russian oil, Reuters reported recently.

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