Britain may have phased out oil and gas purchases from Russia as it had pledged in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine six months ago.
The UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday that that the UK did not import any fuels from Russia in June, for the first time since records began.
Shortly after Vladmir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, the UK had boasted that it would phase out Russian oil imports by the end of this year and that Russian gas accounts for less than 4 percent of Britain’s supply.
At the time of the announcement in early March, Russian imports accounted for 8% of total UK oil demand.
But the UK is also a significant producer of both crude oil and petroleum products, in addition to imports from a diverse range of reliable suppliers beyond Russia, including the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and the United States, the UK government said in March.
There were no imports of fuels from Russia in June 2022, the first month since records began in January 1997 that the UK imported no fuel from Russia, the statistics office said today.
This is a 100% decrease, or $587 million (£499 million) in terms of value, compared with the monthly average for the 12 months to February 2022.
Before the invasion of Ukraine, Russia was the UK’s largest supplier of refined oil in 2021, accounting for 24.1% of all imports of this commodity, also supplying 5.9% of the UK’s crude oil imports, and 4.9% of the UK’s gas imports, the statistics office said.
“As a result of the UK government’s ambition to phase out imports of Russian oil and gas, there were no imports of refined oil, crude oil, gas or coal, coke and briquettes from Russia by June 2022,” the ONS added.
The statistics said UK imports of all other non-commodity goods from Russia also plunged and stood at $39 million (£33 million) in June 2022 – the lowest level since.