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The EU was quick to hit Russia with sanctions after Vladimir Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine — but it took time and an escalation of measures before Moscow started to feel any real damage.
Since the war started in late February last year, November was the first month when the value of EU imports from Russia was lower than in the same month of 2021. Until then, the bloc had been sending more cash than before the conflict — every month, for nine months. More recent data is not yet available.
The main reason behind this? Energy dependency on Russia and skyrocketing energy prices. But that’s not the whole story: Some EU countries were much quicker than others to reduce trade flows with Moscow — and others were still increasing them at the end of last year.
Here is a full breakdown of how the war has changed EU trade with Russia, in figures and charts: