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Russia doubles oil exports to Africa – Lavrov

Moscow is nevertheless not in competition with other top oil-producing and exporting nations, the foreign minister says

Moscow has increased exports of petroleum products to African countries in recent years, despite Western sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

Lavrov made the statement in an interview for a documentary project on oil that was published on the Foreign Ministry’s website on Thursday.

“Take Africa. We have doubled the export of petroleum products there over the past year and a half,” he said in response to a question about whether Russia is beginning to compete with other countries, particularly Iran, in the oil market.

The diplomat said there is “no fear” about Iran having “restored its legal rights” to trade oil and invest in economic development. Tehran produced 2.99 million barrels of oil per day in 2023, 440,000 more than in the previous year, according to the International Energy Agency (EIA).

“Within the framework of OPEC+, of which both Iran and Russia are members, there is a clear understanding of how to negotiate and seek compromises. This scheme has been working for many years. No one is at a loss, no one is offended,” Lavrov added.

Russia sharply increased its energy exports to Asia and Africa last year after the EU, which accounted for more than 60% of Moscow’s energy exports prior to the Ukraine conflict, stopped accepting the country’s oil transported by sea. China and India have emerged as major buyers of Russian crude after Moscow redirected its cargoes from Europe to the east in response to Western sanctions.

READ MORE: African country’s flag helping Russia skirt sanctions – Bloomberg

Last July, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov estimated that Moscow would supply approximately 20 million tons of oil and petroleum products to African countries by the end of 2023.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Ghana, Libya, Tunisia, and Togo all posted more than 100% annual growth in Russian oil imports in 2023. Morocco, Senegal, and Nigeria – the last of these being one of Africa’s top oil producers and exporters – all saw significant increases in Russian oil imports last year, according to the news agency, citing Kpler data.

March 21, 2024 at 07:32PM

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