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The UK has imported nearly 2 million barrels of Russian oil since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to figures released Wednesday by Greenpeace.
Shipments totaling 1.9 million barrels, worth an estimated $276 million, have been pouring into the UK despite a series of international sanctions against Russian companies designed to weaken the Kremlin’s war machine, said Greenpeace.
“A total of eight tankers have delivered shipments of Russian oil to the UK since Russia first invaded Ukraine on February 24, on average one a week,” Greenpeace said in the statement.
The British government has banned vessels owned, operated or flying the Russian flag from entering the UK. However, Russian fossil fuels can still flow into Britain via tankers owned and flagged by other nations.
“The UK government is no stranger to hypocrisy, but pledging ‘unwavering support’ to Ukraine as it ships nearly 2 million barrels of Russian oil is utterly hypocritical, even by UK standards. Boris Johnson,” said Georgia Whitaker, oil and gas campaign manager at Greenpeace UK.
Downing Street has said it will phase out imports of Russian oil, but only by the end of the year.
“Despite the rising death toll, the UK government has given itself until the end of the year to stop importing the damn Russian oil,” Whitaker added.
“Sanctions don’t work until they are implemented and another eight months of oil and gas imports is eight months too long. Clearly we need an explicit and immediate ban on all Russian fossil fuels,” Whitaker said.
A British government spokesman said: “We will phase out Russian oil by the end of the year, and imports of Russian liquid natural gas as soon as possible thereafter.”
“The UK has no gas or oil supply problems, and unlike Europe, we are not dependent on Russian energy imports,” the spokesman said.
On Monday, Greenpeace activists chained themselves to the anchor of a Russian tanker bound for a Norwegian port, demanding that the Nordic nation stop importing Russian fossil fuels.