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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Kremlin Claims Western Powers Are Attempting to Undermine Its Trade With China

  • The US and EU are reportedly applying pressure on China to stop processing trade payments from Russia.
  • Some Chinese banks have reportedly halted processing payments in yuan from Russia, creating challenges for their trade relationship.
  • Despite Western pressure, Russia maintains it will continue expanding trade ties with China, a crucial oil importer for them since sanctions began.

The United States and the EU continue to exert “unprecedented pressure” on China to reject trade payments from Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

China and Russia have forged closer trade ties in recent years, especially in oil trade, after the West banned imports of Russian crude and fuels, and imposed a price cap on Russia’s petroleum products if they use Western transportation, insurance, and financing.  

“Of course, unprecedented pressure from the United States and the European Union on China continues, including in the context of relations with us,” Russian news agency TASS quoted Peskov as telling reporters on a daily briefing.  

“This, of course, creates certain problems, but will not become an obstacle for the further development of our trade and economic relations,” Peskov added.

Russia and China have the means to “overcome these difficulties,” thanks to “the special nature of our relationship,” the Kremlin spokesman said, commenting on reports that a number of Chinese banks have been rejecting payments from Russia.

Several Chinese banks have halted processing payments in Chinese yuan from Russia, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported on Thursday, citing market sources. Ping An Bank and Bank of Ningbo have stopped payment processing, while other banks, including DBS Bank, Great Wall West China Bank, and China Zheshang Bank, have imposed some restrictions on payment operations from Russia, according to Izvestia’s sources.

In the oil market, China has become the largest importer of Russian crude over the past year and a half, after the West slapped embargoes and price caps on Russian oil following the invasion of Ukraine.

China is set to import record-high oil volumes from Russia in March as the world’s top crude importer is mopping up cargoes shunned by India, Bloomberg reported earlier this week, citing tanker-tracking data from Kpler.  

China is expected to welcome this month as much as 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Russia as refiners are on track to import record-high volumes of the Russian grade Sokol, from which India has been shying away recently. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 21 2024 said:
    China-Russia trade ties have gone from strength to strength during the Ukraine conflict surging from $13 bn in 2011 to $190 bn in 2022 and a record high $240 in 2023 overshooting a goal of $200 bn set by the two countries in bilateral meetings last year or 26% higher..

    Reported pressure on China by the United States and the EU to stop processing trade payments from Russia will fail miserably as their unprecedented sanctions and bans on Russian oil and gas exports had.

    Russia and China are very close strategic allies working diligently on weakening the United States by accelerating the transformation of the current World Order from a unipolar system led by the US to a multipolar one and the creation along side a global financial system away from the dollar. Moreover, China doesn't recognize Western sanctions against Russia and is doing everything to ignore them as it does with Iran and Venezuela.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Globa;l Energy Expert

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