Exports of Russian crude surged last year, with shipments to the US increasing threefold, as Washington tightened sanctions against a number of countries, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development has said.

The volume of Russian oil exports was up 3.9 percent, according to customs data for January-November 2019. In a note, seen by business outlet RBC, the ministry said that the surge was due to Washington’s sanctions that targeted Iran and Venezuela, prompting Turkey and, surprisingly, the US to buy more oil from Russia. (RT)