Russian oil shifts to Middle East – Reuters

The United Arab Emirates has boosted its purchases of Russian crude oil despite increasing pressure from the US and its Western allies to curb trade with Moscow, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing ship tracking data and sources. 

Statistics show that around 1.5 million barrels of Russian crude have been shipped to the Gulf nation since November, with overall volumes having grown since early 2022. The latest cargo with Russian Urals crude reportedly arrived at the oil hub of Fujairah earlier this month.

According to energy analytics firm Kpler, the first shipment occurred in 2019 but deliveries increased after April 2022, with a pause between July and October 2022.

Data from financial analysis platform Refinitiv Eikon shows that the first Russian crude shipment to the UAE was in 2022, with a surge in April.

The UAE has been strengthening its economic and trade cooperation with Russia recently despite the Western pressure to end the practice. Trade between the two countries reached an all-time high last year, with the Middle Eastern state on course to become one of Russia’s top 20 economic partners.

The UAE is home to one of the world’s biggest transshipment hubs, the Jebel Ali port in Dubai, and is Russia’s largest trading partner in the region, accounting for 55% of total trade between Moscow and the Gulf countries.

While the EU and G7 nations have introduced price caps and restrictions on Russian fuel imports, Moscow has successfully diversified its shipments, with China, India, Türkiye, and other countries having boosted purchases of its oil.

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