Even as Western countries have tried to isolate Russia and cut off economic ties, energy trade continues in record numbers bringing in billions of much needed hard currency for Moscow.

The European Union continues to be the largest purchaser of Russian energy.
The European Union continues to be the largest purchaser of Russian energy. (Reuters)

Russia has earned $98 billion from fossil fuel exports during the first 100 days of conflict in Ukraine, with most sent to the European Union, according to researchers.

The report from the independent Finland-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) comes on Monday as Kiev urges the West to sever all trade with Russia in the hopes of cutting off the Kremlin's financial lifeline.

Earlier this month, the EU agreed to halt most Russian oil imports, on which the continent is heavily dependent. Though the bloc aims to reduce gas shipments by two-thirds this year, an embargo is not in the cards at present.

According to the report, the EU took 61 percent of Russia's fossil fuel exports during the conflict's first 100 days, worth about $60 billion.

The top importers were China at $13.2 billion, Germany $12.7 billion and Italy $8.2 billion.

READ MORE: EU's measures against Russian oil, gas will take 'months'

Record revenues

Russia's fossil fuel revenues come first from the sale of crude oil $48.2 billion, followed by pipeline gas, oil products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal.

Even as Russia's exports plummeted in May, with countries and companies shunning its supplies over the Ukraine conflict, the global rise in fossil fuel prices continued to fill the Kremlin's coffers, with export revenues reaching record highs.

Russia's average export prices were about 60 percent higher than last year, according to CREA.

Some countries have upped their purchases from Moscow, including China, India, the United Arab Emirates and France, the report added.

"As the EU is considering stricter sanctions against Russia, France has increased its imports to become the largest buyer of LNG in the world," said CREA analyst Lauri Myllyvirta.

Since most of these are spot purchases rather than long-term contracts, France is consciously deciding to use Russian energy in the wake of Moscow's incursion of Ukraine, Myllyvirta added.

He called for an embargo on Russian fossil fuels to "align actions with words".

READ MORE: Russia to look into alternative energy markets after Western sanctions

Source: TRTWorld and agencies