Europe has ramped up imports of Russian diesel as the EU struggles to wean off the country’s energy supplies

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Europe’s imports of Russian-sourced diesel spiked 13% last month as the continent struggled to wean itself off Moscow’s fuel in response to the war in Ukraine.

Russian-sourced diesel to Europe outpaced non-Russian-sourced diesel by nearly 200,000 barrels a day, according to a report published Tuesday from Vortexa, which tracks energy commodities. Overall, Europe’s imports of Russian diesel increased a staggering 23% from July 2021.

The uptick in Europe’s appetite for Russian diesel underscores the complexity of choking Moscow’s energy flows as its war in Ukraine rages on. The European Union pledged earlier this year to be 90% rid of Russian crude imports by the end of 2022 but has since struggled with skyrocketing prices and production constraints on alternative sources.

Because of the rising diesel prices, as well as refineries struggling to keep pace with demand, “it appears questionable whether Europeans will manage to carry through on the announced diesel import ban fully” Vortexa’s chief economist, David Welch, said.

Europe’s supply of diesel comes from the transformation of crude into fuel at European refineries. The continent is struggling to keep pace because of cuts to refining capacity made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when travel plummeted. Europe is simultaneously racing to shore up energy stores ahead of winter amid concerns of a full Russian shutoff, while condemning the Kremlin for its invasion of Ukraine.

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