Ukraine has demanded that Western oil companies, including BP and Shell, stop trading in Russian oil in the latest push to step up pressure on energy companies to cut off a major source of funding for the Kremlin.
Oleg Austenko, the chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zalansky, wrote letters to the major energy companies in the West asking them to cut off all deals with Russia, including its oil trade.
“At this existential moment for our nation, we ask you to stop all transactions with the Russian fossil fuel industry to cut off the cash flow that finances the mass murder of innocent people,” Ostenko wrote in letters to BP. Shell, TotalEnergies, Chevron and ExxonMobil.
BP, Shell and Exxon have announced plans to dump shares in Russian investments, but along with commodity traders, they have largely continued to pick up barrels of oil in the country that they are committed to taking under long-term contracts.
Shell has announced that it will halt all Russian oil purchases in the spot market and eventually stop contractual volumes.
The letters also said that Ukraine would set up a group to monitor tankers that collect Russian oil in cooperation with activists, academics, civil society groups and information providers.
The request came when Brent Crude, the international oil index, jumped 6.6% on Monday to $ 115 a barrel, after Saudi officials said they would abdicate responsibility for any future energy shortages in the world.
EU officials said on Monday that they would discuss sanctions on Russian energy exports, despite opposition from Germany and the Netherlands, who believe the bloc is too dependent on the country’s oil to be released.
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