China has significantly boosted oil imports from Russia, while the latter has been selling less crude to Europe. An analyst told RT that Beijing has become a more preferable partner in the oil trade for Moscow.
RT’s source in Russia’s largest oil exporter Transneft has said that since January 1, the country is pumping more oil to China, while exports to Europe have plunged. Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Russia will have shipped 19 percent less oil through its ports on the Baltic and Black Seas in the first five months of 2018, and sold 43 percent more oil to China through March.
Russia is the largest seller of oil to both Europe and China. An analyst interviewed by RT has said that shipping more crude to Asia can be regarded as a defensive mechanism in the time of Western sanctions. “Given the current geopolitical conditions, the shift towards China from Europe is a protective measure. This shift in oil trade allows the Russian Federation to some extent to secure the oil industry from the sanctions of the West,” said Anton Pokatovich, chief analyst of Binbank. – Russia Today