The British government has imported £220 million ($276 million) worth of Russian oil since Moscow declared war on Ukraine, according to a new analysis.
Data released by global campaigning network Greenpeace on Wednesday showed the UK has imported some 2 million barrels of Russian oil since the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24.
“The UK government is no stranger to hypocrisy but pledging ‘unwavering support’ to Ukraine while shipping in almost 2 million barrels of Russian oil is utterly disingenuous, even by (Prime Minister) Boris Johnson’s standards,” said Georgia Whitaker, an oil and gas campaigner at Greenpeace UK.
“This war has cost at least 2,000 civilian lives so far. That’s 2,000 innocent deaths largely funded by fossil fuels. Despite the mounting death toll, the UK government has given itself until the end of the year to stop importing Russia’s bloody oil.”
Greenpeace has set up an automated tracker to monitor supertankers delivering oil and gas from Russia.
A total of eight tankers have delivered shipments of Russian oil to the UK since the end of February, with an average of one tanker arriving each week, according to the group.
Another tanker carrying 33,000 tons of Russian diesel is currently anchored off the coast of Lincolnshire.
Six of the shipments to the UK originated from the Russian ports of Primorsk, Tuapse and Vysotsk, ending up at five UK ports including Merseyside, Essex, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire.
As part of its measures against Moscow over the Ukraine war, the British government has banned Russian-flagged, owned or operated vessels from entering the country.
Russian fuel, however, is still able to flow into the UK despite the sanctions, said Greenpeace, calling on the British government to impose an “immediate and genuine ban” on all fuel imports from Russia.
“All Russian fossil fuel shipments that have arrived in Britain since the war began have been imported legally, rendering the UK government’s ban on Russian ships tokenistic,” read a Greenpeace statement.
“Sanctions don’t work until they’re implemented and eight more months of oil and gas imports is eight months too many. It’s clear we need an explicit and immediate ban on all Russian fossil fuels.”
By Muhammad Mussa