Democrat President Joe Biden’s administration has been caught evading its own wartime sanctions to buy cheap oil from Russia.
A new report from The Washington Post exposes the flow of “forbidden Russian oil” that is being facilitated by Biden’s Department of Defense (DOD).
The Post’s exposé raises fresh concerns about the lack of oversight stemming from the Biden admin.
In an article titled, “Forbidden Russian oil flows into the Pentagon supply chain,” the Post exposes two major issues.
Firstly, Russian oil imports were collectively banned by the U.S. and the European Union in March 2022 as a response to the country’s war with Ukraine.
However, a Greek refinery that serves the U.S. military and claimed it adapted to these new sanctions, is still selling Russian oil to the Pentagon.
The Motor Oil Hellas refinery on the Aegean Sea in Greece is at the center of this Washington Post investigation.
The company is accused of continuing to pump Russian petroleum despite those 2022 sanctions.
Interestingly, Motor Oil Hellas appeared to go to great lengths to pump the illegal oil.
According to the Post, the refinery rerouted the illegal product “hundreds of miles out of the way through an oil storage facility in Turkey.”
The outlet claims that this detour “obscured Russia’s imprint as ownership of the products changed hands multiple times before they reached Greece.”
Additionally, the common practice of mixing oil from various countries of origin at refineries, before they’re sent out again, has reportedly allowed the proliferation of Russian oil.
The paper trail that the Post reportedly uncovered directly links Biden’s Pentagon to this compromised product.
“Federal contracting data” revealed that the government entity signed nearly $1 billion worth of new contracts with Motor Oil Hellas since the wartime sanctions were enacted last March.
The Post also noted that a million barrels of jet fuel from Motor Oil Hellas have gone to various entities in Italy, France, Spain, and Britain since February 2022.
Both Italy and France are founding members of the European Union, which also placed sanctions on Russian oil.
All of these entities effectively stand accused of purchasing sanctioned oil via a middleman.
Further, the Post report suggests that all of this sanctioned oil was coming at a hefty premium as part of the sanctions involved a price cap on Russian oil.
However, countries are apparently not following through on the price cap, allowing Russia to sell its oil for far more money than it’s supposed to.
A Pentagon Defense Logistics Agency representative told the outlet that the DOD has “no knowledge” of banned Russian fuel being found at a contracted supplier.
Motor Oil Hellas has vociferously denied these allegations.
In a statement to the Post, the refinery argues that the company “does not buy, process or trade Russian oil or products.
“All its imports are certified of non-sanctioned origin.”
The scandal is evidently wide-spanning and complicated.
However, it’s unclear what comes next.
The Washington Post notes that enforcement of related penalties has “been scant.”
“The U.S. military has not done its due diligence on the origin of this oil,” Isaac Levi, an analyst for a European nonprofit that tracks the flow of Russian oil, told the Post.
“It is not hard to see where it is coming from.”
For some time, Biden has been pushing back against the sanctions.
Until America acquiesced with the EU on sanctions, Biden’s administration vociferously opposed them.
Biden’s hedging on the sanctioned petroleum forced the hands of Republicans to push for the “Independence from Russian Energy Act” in March 2022.
For Biden, it’s just the latest in a stretch of headaches for the Democrat president in the midst of what will likely be a grueling re-election campaign.