Just two days after the European Union (EU) agreed to ban imports of Russian oil, The Wall Street Journal reported some fuels believed to be partially made from Russian crude are showing up in the United States. According to Wednesday’s report, the fuels ended up in New York and New Jersey last month. That would be roughly two months after President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Citing shipping records, Refinitiv data and analysis by Helsinki-based think tank Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, the Journal said the fuels were brought through the Suez Canal and across the Atlantic from Indian refineries. India has been a big buyer of Russian oil despite bans from other countries.
EU leaders agreed Monday to add 27 countries to that list, embargoing most Russian oil imports into the bloc by the end of the year. It’s a move that has been under consideration since last month. The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea, allowing a temporary exemption for imports delivered by pipeline.
EU Council President Charles Michel said the agreement covers more than two-thirds of oil imports from Russia. Ursula Von der Leyen, the head of the EU’s executive branch, said the punitive move will “effectively cut around 90% of oil imports from Russia to the EU by the end of the year.”
“This is a remarkable achievement by the European Council,” Michel said Monday. “I would like to reiterate my gratitude for all the colleagues were able to take together this strong decision and to express a united message towards Ukraine, towards Russia, but also towards the European Union’s citizens and the rest of the world.”
It might not just be the EU ban on Russian oil imports that Russia has to worry about. In a separate Journal report that cited OPEC+ delegates, some members of the group were considering the idea of suspending Russia from an oil production deal. This would allow other producers, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to pump significantly more crude as sought by the U.S. and European nations.