Finland managed to cut the amount of oil it imports from Russia just after the invasion of Ukraine started in late February.
The Nordic country imported 70% less crude oil from its eastern neighbor in March, replacing it mainly with imports from Norway, according to data published on Friday by the customs office. The value of oil purchases from Russia fell 45% from a year earlier.
“Finland’s trade relations with Russia are gradually collapsing,” Pasi Kuoppamaki, Helsinki-based chief economist at Danske Bank A/S, wrote in a note. The large increase in the value of imports will be a “temporary phenomenon,” as Finland is cutting the use of Russian energy, he added.
In a separate report, the statistics office said Finland imported 92% of its natural gas from Russia in 2021. The value of natural gas imports rose by 282% in March to 151.4 million euros ($160 million), the customs said. Volume data on imports of natural gas was not immediately available. Gas accounts for just 5% of energy consumed in the Nordic country.
Of European Union countries, Slovakia is the most dependent on Russia for its energy needs, while two thirds of Polish, Lithuanian and Finland’s energy needs come from Russia, according to a recent report by Shell.