China's Russian Oil Imports Spike, Surpassing Saudi Supplies
June 20, 2022
Chinese imports of oil from Russia in May increased by more than half from a year earlier, an indicator of a growing trade since many Western countries imposed fuel and other sanctions to punish President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Chinese Customs Administration data showed the world's second-largest economy importing more than 8.4 million tons of Russian oil, up 55 percent on May 2021.
The uptick made Russia China's main source of oil for the month, surpassing Saudi Arabia.
Bloomberg News said the Chinese purchases set a new record.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin met for the first time in two years ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and China has declined to condemn the invasion publicly.
Many Western importers have spurned Russian energy since tens of thousands of Russian troops poured across Ukraine's borders on February 24 in the largest invasion in Europe since World War II.
The Chinese economy has meanwhile been slowed by restrictions imposed amid that country's worst COVID-19 outbreak since early in the two-year pandemic.
Based on reporting by AFP
Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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