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Which Countries are Buying Russian Fossil Fuels?



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Bar chart of top importing nations of Russian fossil fuels

The Countries Buying Russian Fossil Fuels Since the Invasion

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A year on from Russia’s initial invasion of Ukraine, Russian fossil fuel exports are still flowing to various nations around the world.

According to estimates from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), since the invasion started about a year ago, Russia has made more than $315 billion in revenue from fossil fuel exports around the world, with nearly half ($149 billion) coming from EU nations.

This graphic uses data from the CREA to visualize the countries that have bought the most Russian fossil fuels since the invasion, showcasing the billions in revenue Russia has made from these exports.

Top Importers of Russian Fossil Fuels

As one might expect, China has been the top buyer of Russian fossil fuels since the start of the invasion. Russia’s neighbor and informal ally has primarily imported crude oil, which has made up more than 80% of its imports totaling more than $55 billion since the start of the invasion.

The EU’s largest economy, Germany, is the second-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels, largely due to its natural gas imports worth more than $12 billion alone.

CountryTotal Value of Russian Fossil Fuel Imports*Crude OilNatural GasCoal
🇨🇳 China$66.6B$54.9B$6.1B$5.7B
🇩🇪 Germany$26.1B$13.3B$12.1B$0.7B
🇹🇷 Turkey$25.9B$14.8B$7.5B$3.6B
🇮🇳 India$24.1B$20.8B$0$3.3B
🇳🇱 Netherlands$18.0B$16.2B$0.8B$1.0B
🇮🇹 Italy$14.8B$8.7B$5.6B$0.4B
🇵🇱 Poland$12.1B$8.9B$2.9B$0.3B
🇫🇷 France$9.5B$5.2B$4.2B$0.2B
🇧🇪 Belgium$9.2B$5.5B$3.5B$0.2B
🇭🇺 Hungary$8.6B$2.7B$5.9B$0
🇧🇬 Bulgaria$6.4B$3.9B$2.5B$0
🇸🇰 Slovakia$6.2B$3.1B$3.1B$0
🇯🇵 Japan$6.0B$0.6B$3.7B$1.7B
🇰🇷 South Korea$6.0B$1.8B$0.8B$3.5B
🇪🇸 Spain$5.8B$2.7B$2.9B$0.2B
🇦🇹 Austria$5.7B$0.1B$5.6B$0
🇪🇬 Egypt$5.4B$4.9B$0$0.4B
🇬🇷 Greece$4.5B$4.3B$0.2B$0
🇨🇿 Czechia$4.2B$2.7B$1.5B$0
🇦🇪 UAE$4.1B$4.1B$0$0.1B

*Over the time period of Feb 24, 2022 to Feb 26, 2023 in U.S. dollars

Turkey, a member of NATO but not of the EU, closely follows Germany as the third-largest importer of Russian fossil fuels since the invasion. The country is likely to overtake Germany soon, as not being part of the EU means it isn’t affected by the bloc’s Russian import bans put in place over the last year.

Although more than half of the top 20 fossil fuel importing nations are from the EU, nations from the bloc and the rest of Europe have been curtailing their imports as bans and price caps on Russian coal imports, crude oil seaborne shipments, and petroleum product imports have come into effect.

Russia’s Declining Fossil Fuel Revenues

The EU’s bans and price caps have resulted in a decline of daily fossil fuel revenues from the bloc of nearly 85%, falling from their March 2022 peak of $774 million per day to $119 million as of February 22nd, 2023.

Although India has stepped up its fossil fuel imports in the meantime, from $3 million daily on the day of the invasion to $81 million per day as of February 22nd of this year, this increase doesn’t come close to making up the $655 million hole left by EU nations’ reduction in imports.

Similarly, even if African nations have doubled their Russian fuel imports since December of last year, Russian seaborne oil product exports have still declined by 21% overall since January according to S&P Global.

Other Factors Impacting Revenues

Overall, from their peak on March 24th of around $1.17 billion in daily revenue, Russian fossil fuel revenues have declined by more than 50% to just $560 million daily.

Along with the EU’s reductions in purchases, a key contributing factor has been the decline in Russian crude oil’s price, which has also declined by nearly 50% since the invasion, from $99 a barrel to $50 a barrel today.

Whether these declines will continue is yet to be determined. That said, the EU’s 10th set of sanctions, announced on February 25th, ban the import of bitumen, related materials like asphalt, synthetic rubbers, and carbon blacks and are estimated to reduce overall Russian export revenues by almost $1.4 billion.

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5 Ways Nuclear Power Can Enable an Energy Utopia

From clean electricity to high reliability, this graphic explores the five key advantages of nuclear power in the clean energy transition.



nuclear power
The following content is sponsored by CanAlaska Uranium
nuclear power

5 Ways Nuclear Power Can Enable an Energy Utopia

The phrase Energy utopia describes a hypothetical and sustainable state of the world where energy is clean, affordable, and accessible. 

Despite the challenges on the road to achieving an energy utopia, such a state is attainable if the world invests in clean, reliable technologies that can meet our rising energy needs—and nuclear power is one such technology.

This infographic sponsored by CanAlaska Uranium explores five ways nuclear power can unlock a state of energy utopia. This is Part 2 of 4 in the Road to Energy Utopia series.

#1: High Reliability

Nuclear power plants run 24/7 and are the most reliable source of sustainable energy. 

Nuclear electricity generation remains steady around the clock throughout the day, week, and year. Meanwhile, daily solar generation peaks in the afternoon when electricity demand is usually lower, and wind generation depends on wind speeds.

As the use of variable solar and wind power increases globally, nuclear offers a stable and reliable backbone for a clean electricity grid.

#2: Clean Electricity

Nuclear reactors use fission to generate electricity without any greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Consequently, nuclear power is the cleanest energy source on a lifecycle basis, measured in CO2-equivalent emissions per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity produced by a power plant over its lifetime.

The lifecycle emissions from a typical nuclear power plant are 273 times lower than coal and 163 times lower than natural gas. Furthermore, nuclear is relatively less resource-intensive, allowing for lower supply chain emissions than wind and solar plants.

#3: Stable Affordability

Although nuclear plants can be expensive to build, they are cost-competitive in the long run.

Most nuclear plants have an initial lifetime of around 40 years, after which they can continue operating with approved lifetime extensions. Nuclear plants with lifetime extensions are the cheapest sources of electricity in the United States, and 88 of the country’s 92 reactors have received approvals for 20-year extensions.

Additionally, according to the World Nuclear Association, nuclear plants are relatively less susceptible to fuel price volatility than natural gas plants, allowing for stable costs of electricity generation.

#4: Energy Efficiency

Nuclear’s high energy return on investment (EROI) exemplifies its exceptional efficiency.

EROI measures how many units of energy are returned for every unit invested in building and running a power plant, over its lifetime. According to a 2018 study by Weissbach et al., nuclear’s EROI is 75 units, making it the most efficient energy source by some distance, with hydropower ranking second at 35 units.

#5: Sustainable Innovation

New, advanced reactor designs are bypassing many of the difficulties faced by traditional nuclear plants, making nuclear power more accessible. 

  • Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are much smaller than conventional reactors and are modular—meaning that their components can be transported and assembled in different locations.
  • Microreactors are smaller than SMRs and are designed to provide electricity in remote and small market areas. They can also serve as backup power sources during emergencies. 

These reactor designs offer several advantages, including lower initial capital costs, portability, and increased scalability. 

A Nuclear-Powered Future

Nuclear power is making a remarkable comeback as countries work to achieve climate goals and ultimately, a state of energy utopia.

Besides the 423 reactors in operation worldwide, another 56 reactors are under construction, and at least 69 more are planned for construction. Some nations, like Japan, have also reversed their attitudes toward nuclear power, embracing it as a clean and reliable energy source for the future. 

CanAlaska is a leading exploration company in the Athabasca Basin, the Earth’s richest uranium depository. Click here to learn more now.

In part 3 of the Road to Energy Utopia series, we explore the unique properties of uranium, the fuel that powers nuclear reactors.

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