It has been said that demography is destiny. In some cases, geography is destiny, too. Since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the six countries most dependent on Russian oil all voted against or abstained from a U.N. resolution condemning the attack. All of the nations are either former Soviet Union republics or share a border with Russia. (Here’s a look at the recent military history of every former Soviet republic.)
To determine the countries that are most dependent on Russian oil, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on oil imports from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, an online data visualization and distribution platform, and oil production from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Countries were ranked based on the total value of imports of crude and refined oil from Russia as a percentage of all crude and refined oil imports and domestic oil production in 2020.
Some of the nations that rely on Russian energy sources lack resources of their own. If they do possess resources, they depend on Russia to help develop and process them. (And these are Ukraine’s leading trading partners.)
The central Asian nations of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, both former Soviet republics, send migrant laborers to Russia to work in that country’s energy sector. The remittances these workers send back to their families are crucial to the economic health of those countries.
Nations that have been the most critical of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and that have energy agreements with Russia have spoken about ending their energy accords with Russia. Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, plans to halt almost all Russian oil imports this year and end gas imports from Russia by the middle of 2024, according to a recent announcement.
Other nations such as Turkey are looking to boost oil imports from other countries such as Iran and Iraq.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in late March that his country wants to stop using Russian oil by the end of this year. He said shifting to renewable energies would help Poland become independent from Russian energy.