UK cuts Russian energy imports to zero

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The UK imported no energy products from Russia for the first time in over 15 years in June, new figures have shown.


The UK has completely eliminated imports of oil and gas from Russia for the first time since records began as it continues to target Moscow with sanctions in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that total imports from the nation fell by 97 percent in June compared with the previous year, with just £33 million worth of goods arriving in the UK from Russia.

In the 12 months prior to February's invasion of Ukraine, the UK imported an average of £499 million a month of fuel from Russia. By June, this had reduced to zero, marking the first time since modern records began in January 1997. 

The UK government announced in March it intended to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of 2022, with liquified natural gas imports to follow as quickly as possible. The latest figures indicate this goal has been reached ahead of schedule, with the country turning to suppliers such as Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Kuwait in recent months.

Other Russian-made goods have also experienced large drops as a result of sanctions, which have seen bans and additional tariffs announced on items such as iron, steel, silver, gold, wood and high-end goods. 

A similar story was seen in exports from the UK to Russia, which decreased by almost 70 percent in June to £168 million. Machinery and transport equipment sales saw an even bigger drop, falling by 91.3 percent. 

Chemicals was the only category to see an increase in exports, largely driven by an rise in medicinal and pharmaceutical product sales, which are exempt from the wide-ranging sanctions imposed by the UK on trade with Russia.

The ONS commented: "The economic sanctions applied by the UK government are likely to have driven the decreases in imports from and exports to Russia; however self-sanctioning, whereby traders voluntarily seek alternatives to Russian goods, is also likely a factor."