Chinese imports of Russian oil last month hit their highest level since Moscow's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Beijing's customs data showed Tuesday.

China imported 9.71 million tonnes of oil from Russia in May, detailed customs data showed, up from 5.4 million tonnes in February 2022 and 6.3 million the following month.

The figures show that imports of Russian crude by China since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine have almost doubled.

They are in line with trade figures released this month that showed China's trade with Russia soaring to levels not seen since February 2022.

Trade between the two countries last month was worth $20.5 billion, data from Beijing showed, with Chinese imports from Russia worth $11.3 billion.

China is Russia's largest trading partner, with trade between them reaching a record $190 billion last year, according to Chinese customs data.


During a summit in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin pledged to boost trade to $200 billion in 2023 as they hailed their "no limits" partnership.

And Russian energy deliveries to China are set to grow by 40 percent this year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last month.

Beijing says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine war, but has been criticised by Western countries for refusing to condemn Moscow and for its close strategic partnership with Russia.

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