£2.2bn-worth of oil processed in China, India, and Turkey—to whom Russia supplies crude—was imported in 2023, data shows, Report informs via the Guardian.

The UK has been accused of helping Russia pay for its war on Ukraine by continuing to import record amounts of refined oil from countries processing Kremlin fossil fuels.

As long as Russian oil is refined in another country, it is no longer considered to have originated in Russia, allowing it to evade the trade ban. As a result, Russian oil is being sold to allied countries for processing before being exported to the UK.

Government data analyzed by the environmental news site Desmog shows that imports of refined oil from India, China, and Türkiye amounted to £2.2bn in 2023, the same record value as the previous year, up from £434.2m in 2021.

Russia is the largest crude oil supplier to India and China, while Turkey has become one of the biggest importers of Russian oil since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Meanwhile, the value of refined oil exported from India to the UK has risen dramatically since Russia’s 2022 invasion. In 2021, the UK imported £402.2m worth of refined oil from the country, which rose to £1.82bn in 2022 and stood at £1.5bn in 2023.