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Customs: Finland's imports from Russia cut by half in April

The decrease was driven by a drop in the volumes of petrol products and crude oil being imported from Russia.

Russian oil tanks photographed near the city of St. Petersburg last week. Image: Anatoly Maltsev / EPA

The value of imports coming into Finland from Russia fell by 47 percent during the month of April compared to March, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by Finnish Customs.

This amounted to about half a billion euros less being paid by Finland to Russia for imports during April, as the figure had been at just under one billion euros the previous month.

Meanwhile, the value of petrol products imported from Russia into Finland fell from 149 million euros in March to 61 million euros in April, while the value of crude oil imports dropped to 45 million from 145 million euros the previous month.

However, compared to April of last year, the value of imports rose by almost three percent. This was largely due to an increase in energy prices, Custom's Director of Statistics, Olli-Pekka Penttilä, said in the statement.

Oil exports — Russia's most important source of export revenue — were not yet subject to sanctions in April, but EU leaders agreed a deal at the end of last month to block more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports coming into the bloc.

Imports of natural gas and electricity also fell sharply in April compared to March, according to Customs. However, the value of natural gas imports in April was almost 100 million euros, more than double the value of crude oil imports, while electricity imports from Russia totalled 58 million euros.

The agency further revealed that the value of Finland's exports to Russia in April — estimated at around 144.3 million euros — dropped by 58 percent when compared to the same month last year.