Britain has bought no fuel from Russia for the first time since records began, driven by the country shunning energy from President Putin in response to the invasion of Ukraine, official figures published today show.
Fuel imports from Russia plummeted to zero in June, the first time Britain has ever recorded a complete weaning off from Moscow energy, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The figures underscore the severity of sanctions Britain has imposed on Russia in a bid to hobble its heavily energy export dependent economic model.
All imports from Russia also fell to £33m in June, the lowest level since records began in January 1997, the ONS said.
Britain has shunned Russian goods and services
They come as today marks six months since Putin sent troops into Ukraine.
Ukraine is also celebrating the 31st anniversary of its independence after it gained sovereignty in 1991 just before the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Western nations have bound together to isolate Russia from the global economic and financial community.
The UK and US have committed to cutting off Russian oil by the end of the year. Britain is still buying Russian gas.
However, Europe has only committed to shunning seaborne Russian oil shipments. The bloc is also importing Russian gas, primarily because it has relied heavily on cheap energy from Moscow to generate goods and services.
Economists have warned the Continent is headed for a tough recession, caused by Putin seemingly responding to Western sanctions by choking gas flows.
European gas prices have propelled to record levels, driven by the likes of Germany and Italy scrambling for alternative energy sources to replace Russian supply.
S&P Global’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the eurozone fell below the 50 point threshold that separates growth and contraction for the second month in a row in August.
Germany, the region’s economic powerhouse, is wilting under the weight of sky-high gas prices. Berlin’s economic model has for decades been oiled by cheap Russian oil and gas.
Europe’s largest economy’s PMI plummeted to a 26-month low of 47.6 in August.
The numbers paint “a bleak picture of the German economy,” Phil Smith, economics associate director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said.