UK imported no fuel from Russia in June, while goods imports also fell to £33m amid war in Ukraine | Economic news

Britain imported no fuel from Russia in June for the first time since sanctions were imposed following the invasion of Ukraine, official data shows.

The figure released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) comes after the UK decided to break dependence on Moscow for its electricity needs in the face of Kremlin aggression by phasing out the use of its oil and of its gas.

Russia was later accused of weaponizing energy by limiting gas supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe in retaliation for sanctions, fueling soaring prices and deepening cost of living crisis before winter.

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Imports of Russian goods also fell to £33million in June, the lowest level since records began in January 1997, according to the ONS.

This represents a drop of 96.6% compared to the monthly average of imports during the 12 months preceding the Ukraine invasion in February of this year.

Although UK exports to Russia rose slightly month-on-month in June, their levels fell by £168m, or around two-thirds, from the monthly average in the year to date. ‘in February.

Exports of most commodities had fallen significantly in June, with machinery and transport equipment falling by £118m or 91%.

Chemicals are the only product exported to Russia that has increased over this period, thanks to a £39.1 million (61.8%) increase in exports of drugs and medicines, which are exempt from duty. penalties.

While economic sanctions imposed by the UK are likely to have led to the fall in imports and exports, the ONS points out that the so-called “self-sanction”, where traders voluntarily seek alternatives to Russian products , was also likely a factor.

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The figures were released as Ukraine celebrated 31 years since declaring independence from the Soviet Union, while also marking six months since the start of the Russian invasion.

Prior to Ukraine’s invasion, Russia was the UK’s largest supplier of refined oil in 2021, accounting for 24.1% of all imports of this product, and also accounted for 5.9% of oil imports UK crude and 4.9% of UK gas. imports.

As a result of UK government action, there were no imports of refined oil, crude oil, gas or coal, coke and briquettes from Russia in June.

This has prompted importers to look for alternatives and imports of refined oil from Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Kuwait have increased in recent months.

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