Ukraine’s Foreign Minister has slammed Shell for buying oil from Russia on Friday amid the escalating crisis in Ukraine.
Figures released by the United Nations Refugee Agency more than 1.3 million people have fled Ukraine as a result of the war.
On Saturday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “I am told that Shell discretely bought some Russian oil yesterday.
“One question to Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell Ukrainian blood for you? I call on all conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia.”
I am told that Shell discretely bought some Russian oil yesterday. One question to @Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell Ukrainian blood for you? I call on all conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) March 5, 2022
A Shell spokesperson told ELN: “We are appalled by the war in Ukraine and have already made clear our intention to exit joint ventures with Gazprom – which is majority-owned by the Russian government – and related entities, as well as intending to end our involvement with a significant project to pipe gas from Russia to Europe.
“We have been in constant discussion with governments about the consequences of the war on the security of energy supplies. We have acted throughout in accordance with what we have understood was the intent to allow energy flows from Russia for the time being in order to provide security of energy supply.
“Yesterday we made the difficult decision to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil. Our refineries produce petrol and diesel as well as other products that people rely on every day.
“To be clear, without an uninterrupted supply of crude oil to refineries, the energy industry cannot assure continued provision of essential products to people across Europe over the weeks ahead. Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid disruptions to market supply.
“We didn’t take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of feeling around it.
“We will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible, but this cannot happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply.
“We have been in intense talks with governments and continue to follow their guidance around this issue of security of supply, and are acutely aware we have to navigate this dilemma with the utmost care. We welcome any direction or insights from governments and policymakers as we try to keep Europe moving and in business.
“We will commit profits from the limited amount of Russian oil we have to purchase to a dedicated fund. We will work with aid partners and humanitarian agencies over the coming days and weeks to determine where the monies from this fund are best placed to alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine.”