Germany’s imports of refined petroleum products from India increased in the first seven months of the year, official data showed Tuesday, the bulk of which was likely manufactured from crude oil imported from sanctioned Russia.

Germany bought Indian petroleum products worth 451 million Euros ($480 million) between January and July.

This is an increase of more than 1,100 percent over the amount of 37 million Euros spent during the same period of the previous year for this purpose, according to what was reported by the Destatis national statistics agency.

The 12-fold increase comes after India became the most important buyer of Russian crude following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Destatis reported that Indian fuel exports to Germany are mainly gas oils used in the production of diesel or heating oil.

The Destatis agency indicated that these products are derived from crude oil, and according to the United Nations Comtrade database, India has been importing large quantities of crude oil from Russia since the start of the war.

Western countries imposed a set of sanctions on Russia against the backdrop of the war, which included a European Union ban on oil shipments shipped by sea from Russia.

The European Union and its partners in the G7 agreed to set a price ceiling of $60 per barrel for Russian crude exported to other countries.

The measure allowed India to obtain crude at reduced prices from Russia before refining it and selling it to European customers.

While these sales are legal, some point out that they amount to a back route for Russian oil and undermine the impact of sanctions aimed at depriving Moscow of revenue with which it can finance its war effort.

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell acknowledged the dilemma in a post in May.

“In the European Union, we don’t buy Russian oil, but we buy diesel resulting from the refining of this Russian oil elsewhere… It looks like we are circumventing our sanctions,” Borrell wrote.

“All of this also raises ethical issues,” Borrell added.

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