The oil tanker Minerva Virgo, docked at the oil terminal, is seen after leaving a Russian port around the time that nation invaded Ukraine in late February. REUTERS/Bjoern Kils/File Photo

Spain Finds No Proof of Sanctions-Violating Russian Diesel

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April 30, 2023

By Thomas Gualtieri and Rodrigo Orihuela

(Bloomberg) –The Spanish government said an initial inquiry found no evidence to justify allegations that the country imported sanctioned Russian diesel.

Repsol SA, the nation’s top oil refiner, complained on Thursday several tankers recently brought in fuel to the country via north Africa and Turkey. Such shipments were outlawed in early February as part of European Union measures to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

While initial findings of an inquiry showed all documentation was in order for the shipments, the government will continue checking, Teresa Ribera, Spain’s energy minister, said on Friday. 

Repsol officials said the imports distort markets and give an unfair advantage to firms who flout the rules. Russia’s diesel is typically sold in wholesale markets at deep discounts to non-Russian supply, according to data from Argus Media, offering an incentive to cheat.

Read Also: Spain Urges LNG Importers To Cut Ties With Russia

Newspaper El Mundo earlier on Friday reported that at least two ships are suspected of having offloaded Russian fuel in Spanish ports.

Ribera is also preparing a letter to her counterparts in Europe to request a coordinated strategy to prevent Russian imports. She will also ask the European Commission to create a new certification and traceability system, requiring documentary evidence of the ports and refineries that supplied the fuel.

In addition to the shipments being investigated, Europe is also receiving large amounts of fuel legally that was made from Russian oil at refineries outside of the 27-nation bloc.

India is on track to become Europe’s largest supplier of refined fuels this month while simultaneously buying record amounts of Russian crude, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from analytics firm Kpler.

–With assistance from Rachel Graham.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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