Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) US Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein noted that Russia’s energy revenues went up since the start of the war in Ukraine.
Speaking before the Senate Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation on Thursday, he pointed out that rise of global prices offset efforts of Western countries to limit Russia’s income from fossil fuels sales, Reuters reports.
Hochstein reminded that the US and the EU agreed to impose an embargo on Russian fossil fuels, but pointed out that Moscow is now making more money from energy exports than it did before the start of the war.
He noted that growth of demand for oil as authorities lifted restrictions imposed with the aim of controlling the coronavirus pandemic was “far greater, stronger than anyone predicted.”
Other, larger buyers
Russia is able to sell fossil fuels to other buyers, he observed, including two of the four largest consumers in the world – China and India.
Hochstein stressed that Russia is offering a discount to China and India, but stressed that rise of global prices means that Moscow is still better off.
In May, India imported more than twice as much oil from Russia than it did in April, reaching a record high of more than 840,000 barrels per day, Kpler commodity analyst noted and predicted that the figure will go further up in June.
Hochstein expressed belief that the focus should be on limiting Russia’s income while minimising negative effects of sanctions on Western countries and allies.
He welcomed EU sanctions targeting cargo insurance for Russian oil carriers and noted “we’d like to see how we can use those sanctions to affect the broader market beyond the US and Europe so… nobody’s profiteering.”
Hochstein has been working towards lowering the EU’s dependency on Russian natural gas by redirecting shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the bloc from Australia, Qatar and the US.
Russian gas imports accounted for roughly 45% of EU’s consumption last year, but US shipments of LNG to the bloc increased 18% annually in the first four months of the year.
Hochstein concluded that the US is looking for other ways to lower EU’s dependency on Russian energy imports, by increasing energy efficiency, among other.