(PresidentialHill.com)- On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted that Russian oil exports to China and India have grown “noticeably” despite Western sanctions imposed after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a video address to the BRICS Business Summit on Wednesday, Putin said despite the difficulties imposed by “politically motivated sanctions,” Russia’s trade with Brazil, India, China, and South Africa has increased by 38 percent to $45 billion in the first three months of the year.
Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last week that Russian oil producers have been exporting more crude oil to Asian markets at steep discounts, most notably in China and India. Novak said Russia wanted to supply European buyers, but because the country has been pushed out of the European market, it needed to find other customers elsewhere.
Before the invasion, about two-thirds of Russian crude was exported to Europe. Now, according to Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyokov, about half of the nation’s oil is going to Asia.
According to one of President Biden’s economic advisors, China and India might be buying more Russian oil than the US initially estimated.
Council of Economic Advisors Chair Cecilia Rouse told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday that increased Russian exports to Asia may explain why the oil markets have been especially volatile right now, adding that if Russia was exporting more than the US believed, it would explain why there’s more supply on the market.
In his latest gimmick to temporarily lower gas prices, on Wednesday President Biden had called on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months, claiming it would save consumers 18 cents a gallon.
However, there is little indication Congress will take the president up on his proposal as both Republicans and many Democrats oppose the scheme.
Lawmakers warn that, rather than curb prices, a gas tax holiday will lead to increased demand. And since the president refuses to increase domestic oil production, the current supply will not be able to keep up with any increased demand.
Rising demand coupled with a limited supply would ultimately lead to even higher prices at the pump.