According to journalists, Tunisia and Morocco have significantly increased the volume of purchases of Russian oil products, which does not correspond to their needs.
After the European Union imposed sanctions on oil and oil products from the Russian Federation, a surge in imports of Russian energy resources was recorded in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt. The Wall Street Journal writes about it.
The publication notes that this month, EU restrictions on the import of petroleum products from the Russian Federation came into force. Sanctions on Russian crude oil also came into effect last December.
Meanwhile, in January 2023, Morocco’s imports of Russian diesel increased from 600,000 to 2 million barrels. Tunisia, which almost did not buy oil products from the Russian Federation a couple of years ago, received 2.8 million barrels of Russian oil products. These include diesel, gas oil, gasoline and petroleum, which are commonly used in the production of chemicals and plastics.
Russian goods may enter the EU
It is noted that the growth of imports to Tunisia and Morocco is accompanied by an increase in their own exports of petroleum products. Thus, Russian oil products can be mixed with other goods and re-exported, making it more difficult for the West to move away from Russian fuel.
“Even if you wanted to regulate it, how would you do it? If the cargo is 51% from Morocco and 49% from Russia, how would you rate it?” – journalists quote the head of the department of oil research at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Andreas Economou.
Shipments took place until February 5, when there were no laws against the re-export of Russian oil products. Analysts fear that if this trend continues, it could undermine the West’s goal of depriving the Russian Federation of income to wage war in Ukraine.
Victor Katona, senior oil analyst at Kpler, noted that the volumes that North African countries import are too large for them to fully use on their own. In his opinion, part of Russian oil production will end up in Europe.
“Trust me, we’re not seeing a renaissance in Maghreb refining,” Cato said of the North African region’s oil purchases.
Recall that on January 21 it became known about the detention of a vessel in the Albanian city of Durresi, which could transport 22.5 thousand tons of smuggled oil from Russia.
Oil exports from Russia to China over the past month reached their highest level since April 2020, reaching 1.66 million barrels per day, Bloomberg reported on February 21.
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