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Bloomberg: Russia plans reduction in diesel exports due to drone attacks

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 1, 2024 11:31 PM 2 min read
Illustrative photo of the Lukoil-Nizhegorodnefteorgsintez oil refinery, operated by OAO Lukoil, in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Russia is planning to reduce diesel exports from its Black and Baltic Sea ports in April to the lowest level in five months due to Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian oil refineries and the upcoming maintenance season, Bloomberg reported on April 1.

Fossil fuels are the primary drivers of the Russian economy and the main source of revenue for the Kremlin's war machine. Despite Western sanctions, Russia still provides oil and gas to other countries around the world, primarily India and China.

Over the last months, Ukraine has carried out increasingly regular attacks on Russian oil refineries with long-range drones.

An attack on March 17 targeted a dozen Russian oil refineries amounting to about 12% of Russia's oil-processing capacity, according to Bloomberg.

Industry data suggests diesel exports will fall to around 2.29 million metric tonnes in April, Bloomberg said, citing industry data.

"That equates to just over 569,000 barrels a day, down 21% compared with actual daily exports of about 724,000 barrels from the same ports in March," Bloomberg said.

These figures do not include "smaller volumes sent to export outlets by rail and outside of Transneft PJSC," Russia's state-controlled pipeline transport company.

In an interview with the Washington Post on March 29, President Volodymyr Zelensky asserted that targeting Russian energy infrastructure is a legitimate military strategy.

The strikes serve as retaliation for Russian attacks on critical infrastructure and align with Ukraine's military objectives, Zelensky said.

The interview followed media reports that the U.S. had asked Ukraine to stop attacking the Russian oil industry.

Advisor to Ukraine's Presidential Office head Mykhailo Podolyak denied the reports, saying Kyiv did not receive such calls from Washington.

Ukrainian drones hit one Russian oil refinery after another
Ukraine faces a challenging problem: how to stop a resurgent Moscow in its tracks long enough to rotate the troops, resupply, and fortify. Part of the answer is playing out right now in the skies over Russia. Over the past two weeks, at least dozens of Ukrainian drones reportedly struck
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