Despite the anti-Russian sanctions imposed, the Pentagon continues to purchase petroleum products, the production of which allegedly uses Russian raw materials. This follows from an investigation by the American newspaper The Washington Post (WP), published on November 14.
According to the publication, the Motor Oil Hellas oil refinery in Greece, which is a supplier of petroleum products to the Pentagon, produces fuel from raw materials, including those obtained from the Russian Federation. The newspaper believes that sanctions can be circumvented through a multi-part chain, in which there is a trader from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a Turkish terminal.
The Turkish hub Dortoil has received 2.7 million barrels of fuel oil from Russia since February 2022 (accounting for more than 69% of all supplies). The publication notes that due to the practice of mixing petroleum products in Dortoil, it is impossible to determine the exact percentage of Russian raw materials in the final product that the Pentagon receives. However, experts are confident that fuel from the Russian Federation is guaranteed to be available there.
It is noted that the Greek refinery has concluded contracts with the US defense department for almost $1 billion. At the same time, the representative of the Pentagon Defense Logistics Agency, Joe Yoswa, said in an email to WP that the agency is “not aware” that fuel from Russia is being sent to its Greek supplier, and noted that compliance with anti-Russian sanctions lies with the suppliers themselves.
Experts have repeatedly stated that anti-Russian sanctions have a negative impact on the economies of Western countries. Thus, on November 3, Maxim Chirkov, associate professor of the department of economic policy and economic measurements at the Institute of Economics and Finance of the State University of Management, told Izvestia that the losses of the European Union countries from anti-Russian sanctions are prohibitive. He noted that by the end of 2022, it had already been observed that the damage to European countries amounted to trillions, while the decline in GDP in states and other losses were not taken into account.
As Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said, answering a question from Izvestia on October 3, introducing a price ceiling for Russian oil is ineffective. He recalled a special order issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding non-compliance with the price ceiling in the oil supply contract. According to Novak, Russian companies operate within the framework of this decree.
In addition, Novak noted that today prices for Brent oil have increased, and the discount has decreased, and Russian products are sold at market prices above the ceiling.
Prior to this, on September 12, the World Trade Organization (WTO) stated that anti-Russian sanctions would negatively affect the economies of most countries in the world. They recalled the experience of economic relations between the United States and China, due to trade tensions of which Beijing lost 0.3% of GDP, and Washington lost 0.1% of GDP.
Western countries have increased sanctions pressure on Russia in connection with the special operation to protect Donbass. The decision to start it was announced on February 24, 2022 amid the worsening situation in the region.