LONDON, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The European Union and United States have ramped up buying key industrial metals from Russia, data showed, despite logistical problems spurred by the war in Ukraine and tough talk about starving Moscow of foreign exchange revenue.
The metal shipments highlight the West’s difficulty in pressuring Russia’s economy, which has performed better than expected and seen its rouble currency surge as buoyant oil revenue has helped offset the impact of sanctions.
EU and U.S. imports of Russia’s main base metal products aluminium and nickel during March-June increased by as much as 70%, official trade data compiled by Reuters from the United Nations Comtrade database show.
The total value of EU and U.S. imports of the two metals from March to June were $1.98 billion, the data showed. The West has imposed repeated waves of sanctions on a wide range of Russian products, people and institutions, but has largely spared the industrial metals sector.