Since the Kremlin sent troops and tanks across the border into Ukraine in February, the UK has imported around £220m worth of Russian oil, it has emerged.
Figures released on Wednesday show 1.9 million barrels of oil, or 257,000 tonnes, have been imported since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the latest stage of his eight-year occupation of Ukraine.
They flowed into the country on oil tankers from Russia tracked by environmental campaigners at Greenpeace.
They kept coming even after the Government said it would ban Russian oil imports; the UK will phase out its use of Russian oil but only by the end of the year.
The Government has already banned Russian-owned, operated or flagged ships from entering the UK, but there is nothing stopping a vessel owned from Panama, or elsewhere, from coming here with Russian oil.
Several of the ships have arrived since the phase out of Russian oil was announced.
“The UK government is no stranger to hypocrisy but pledging ‘unwavering support’ to Ukraine while shipping in almost two million barrels of Russian oil is utterly disingenuous, even by Boris Johnson’s standards,” said Georgia Whitaker, oil and gas campaigner at Greenpeace UK.
“This war has cost at least 2,000 civilian lives so far. That’s 2,000 innocent deaths largely funded by fossil fuels.”Georgia Whitaker
Most of the shipments were of diesel, Greenpeace said.
A Government spokesman said: “We will phase out Russian oil by the end of the year, and imports of Russian liquid natural gas as soon as possible thereafter.
“The UK has no issues with either gas or oil supply, and unlike Europe we are not dependent on Russian energy imports.”