The US administration punished 5 Russians and 2 oil traders for avoiding sanctions and money laundering.
Last March, the United States announced a total ban on Russian oil and gas imports, while the European Union said it aims to completely stop relying on Russian energy sources by 2030.
According to the International Energy Agency, Russia is the third largest oil producer in the world after the United States and Saudi Arabia and the second largest exporter of crude oil after Saudi Arabia.
European sanctions against Moscow included a ban on the import of exported Russian oil in Europe via sea, which excludes oil transported in Europe through oil pipelines due to the dependence on it of countries such as Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Moscow is following the example of Iran and Venezuela after imposing US sanctions on them, as it sells oil between tankers in international waters. As the oil is sold between ships that change destination in territorial waters, it becomes difficult to trace its final destination.
This trade is based on brokers who operate outside the global financial system. It is possible that Chinese and Indian companies play a pivotal role in this type of mediation for the sale of Russian oil to third parties. This process ensured the continued sale of Venezuelan and Iranian oil despite the sanctions imposed on the two countries.
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