ATHENS – The European Union’s sanctions on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine exempted Russian energy supplies and did not slow imports to Greece, which set a record in 2022 as the COVID-19 pandemic lessened. According to preliminary data released by Greece’s national statistical office ELSTAT, Greece imported €9.33 billion ($9.54 billion) worth of Russian products, more than double the amount imported in 2021, according to the Middle East North Africa Financial Network (MENAFN).
In December 2022 alone, the value of imports from Russia increased by 59% compared to the same period in the previous year, reaching €866.3 million ($918.58 million), it was said.
The report also indicated that the main products imported by Greece from Russia were petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excluding crude), petroleum gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons, and unwrought aluminum.
The data further revealed that 398 Greek enterprises imported goods from Russia, and there was a big trade imbalance in Russia’s favor, with Greece’s exports falling from €206.6 million ($219.07 million) to €156.4 million ($165.84 million) over a year.
A year’s worth of EU sanctions has not stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from continuing his war, and reports said the bloc is considering adding more but still doing trade in some sectors. Greece is undeterred.