Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases, and the European Union plans to discuss such a ban this week, sending global oil prices higher. read more
The 27-member EU bloc is divided over whether to impose a ban that can affect about 27% of its imports, with some of its landlocked refineries almost completely dependent on Russian crude supplies via pipelines.
Germany, the EU’s top Russian crude buyer, and the Netherlands, a trading hub, have warned against hasty decisions that could raise energy prices further and leave some refineries idle. read more
Hungary opposed a ban on Russian energy imports, while Bulgaria said it may seek an exemption if such a ban is approved.
While the political debate goes on, some buyers in Europe have shunned Russian crude voluntarily to avoid reputational damage or possible legal difficulty.
The European refineries that continue to buy Russian crude are mainly co-owned by Russian firms or depend on pipeline supplies from Russia.
Beyond the European Union, the countries that have refused to criticise Russia for its invasion, such China and India, continue to buy Russian crude.
Turkey, which is seeking to mediate between Kyiv and Moscow, also has no plans to stop buying Rusian oil.