Russia Becomes China’s Energy Lifeline

China increased its imports of Russian crude oil

In May, China increased its imports of Russian crude oil, according to customs data released on Monday, helping to make up for the decrease in purchases of Russian energy by Western nations due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia Overcame Saudi Arabia

Russia has overcome Saudi Arabia to become China’s leading oil supplier as the West restricts Moscow’s supplies.

World’s second-largest economy

Russia bought 8.42 million tones of oil from the world’s second-largest economy last month, a 55% increase over the same period previous year. Read More

Beijing has refused to condemn Moscow officially

The Beijing has refused to openly denounce Moscow’s conflict and has instead demanded economic gains from its isolated neighbour. Beijing has refused to officially condemn Moscow.

In May, it brought in 7.82 million metric tonnes of Saudi oil.

Last month, China purchased $7.47 billion worth of Russian energy products, an increase of $1 billion over the previous month, according to Bloomberg News.

Four months into the conflict in Ukraine, the latest customs figures show that purchasers from the United States and Europe have either shunned or promised to reduce Russian energy imports in the future months. Learn More

China and India

China and India, in particular, are assisting Russia to recoup some of its losses.

Data from Rystad Energy reveals that India purchased six times more Russian oil from March to May compared with the same period last year, while China’s purchases during that period tripled.

The low price of Russian crude oil, according to analyst Wei Cheong Ho, is driving the increase in imports by Indian and Chinese refiners.

International Energy Agency

Recent data from the International Energy Agency shows that India has surpassed Germany as Russia’s second-largest crude importer in the last two months.

It was in 2016 when China became Russia’s most important crude oil buyer.

No boundaries

Days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Beijing. Where the two leaders pledged a bilateral relationship with “no limitations.”.

There has been some improvement in China’s demand for Covid in the past month. As localities have eased restrictions following the country’s worst epidemic since the early days of this pandemic.

Supply Chain Issues reduced

According to official data, supply chain issues have been alleviated and industrial output has increased as a result.

According to customs figures, China’s total imports from Russia increased by 80% in May from a year earlier, reaching $10.3 billion.

However, the total amount of liquefied natural gas imported by China plummeted by 54% year-on-year to 397,000 metric tones.

Western sanctions against Moscow

By criticizing Western sanctions against Moscow and arms supplies to Kyiv. China has been accused of serving as a diplomatic shield for Russia’s interests.

Goals that are mutually beneficial

For decades, Beijing and Moscow were bitter Cold War adversaries. But in recent years, their cooperation has been scaled up as a counterweight to US global supremacy.

As of this month, a road bridge connecting the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with the Chinese city of Heihe in the north has  inaugurate.

Phone chat between the two presidents

During a phone chat between the two presidents last week. Xi reassured Putin of China’s support for Russian “sovereignty and security”. A statement from the Kremlin stated that. The two countries had decided to increase economic cooperation in the face of “unlawful” Western sanctions.

In punishment for Russia’s conflict in Ukraine

In punishment for Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. The West has imposed unprecedented sanctions on the country, pushing Moscow to seek for new markets and suppliers to replace international enterprises that fled the country after the invasion.


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