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Asia Minute: Marcos says Philippines open to importing Russian oil

oil gas pump gas station
Jae C. Hong/AP
FILE - Gas nozzles are pictured at a Mobil gas station in West Hollywood, Calif., Tuesday, March 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The United States continues to enforce an embargo against Russian oil, along with a number of other western countries. But one U.S. ally in the Asia-Pacific is considering an energy deal with Russia.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said this week heʻs open to importing Russian oil.

The Philippines does not have any sanctions in force against Russia — and it has a lot of regional company with that approach.

Across Southeast Asia, only Singapore imposed trade sanctions on Russia shortly after its invasion of Ukraine in late February.

This summer a think tank based in Finland reported Japan, South Korea and Taiwan imported a combined $5.5 billion of fossil fuels from Russia in the first five months following Moscowʻs invasion.

The Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air says each economy bought more than $1 billion of oil, gas and coal through the end of July.

Japanese officials say they're phasing out Russian oil imports — and South Korean imports have also fallen since the summer.

The BBC reports that Russia is now Chinaʻs biggest supplier of oil, edging out Saudi Arabia this year.

India's Economic Times reports Russia has now become India's second-largest supplier of crude oil, trailing only the Saudis.

Indonesian officials have also spoken publicly about the possibility of importing Russian oil, especially if inflation continues to pressure energy prices.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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