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Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov announced Dec. 21 that “Russian oil exports this year will amount to more than they were before the escalation of the conflict with Ukraine,” reported RT. “Crude shipments from Russia for 2023 are estimated to reach around 250 million tons, which is 7% higher than in 2021, according to the official.” He spoke at a meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

“Moscow’s income from crude sales almost doubled from April to October, despite international pressure and forecasts of a huge deficit. Russia’s net oil revenues of $11.3 billion in October accounted for 31% of the country’s overall net budget revenue for the month, according to the Russian Finance Ministry. Over the past year, Russia has rerouted practically all of its energy flows from the West to Asia and reportedly began moving its crude exports on a fleet of aging tankers, or ‘shadow fleet,’ on which international sanctions, including the price restrictions, have limited traction.”

Belousov’s remarks came after the U.S. Treasury announced an extension of the sanctions on Dec. 20, and seeking to increase enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil.