US Imports From Russia Are Back To Pre-Crimea Sanctions Levels

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis 

While the US is pondering what to do about Moscow’s amassing of military troops and equipment on the eastern border of Ukraine among Moscow’s demands for NATO to commit to a legal agreement not to position troops or equipment in either the Ukraine or Georgia, Russian exports to the US have quietly recovered from the sanctions imposed over the annexation of Crimea.

US imports from Russia are expected to reach US$30 billion for 2021, according to data just released by the US Census Bureau, and have been averaging about US$2.5 billion a month since March. That is the highest level since 2012, two years before the US imposed trade sanctions on Russia following the annexation of Crimea. In fact, apart from a historic low in 2015, the US has been increasing its imports of Russian goods every year since.

Russian exports to the US are concentrated mainly in the energy sector with specialist distillates and other hi-tech oil and gas products supporting elements of the US energy industry.

The figures have occurred as Washington has stated it will impose further sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine. That would occur if NATO failed to reach agreement with Moscow concerning military deployment in the country. There is some doubt about how effective sanctions would be, an issue we discussed in this article here.

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During these uncertain times, we must stress that our firm does not approve of the Ukraine conflict. We do not entertain business with sanctioned Russian companies or individuals. However, we are well aware of the new emerging supply chains, can advise on strategic analysis and new logistics corridors, and may assist in non-sanctioned areas. We can help, for example, Russian companies develop operations throughout Asia, including banking advisory services, and trade compliance issues, and have done since 1992.

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