Last war in Ukraine: Japan condemns Russia’s decision to break off talks on disputed islands

Ukraine has demanded that Western oil majors including BP and Shell stop selling Russian oil in the latest campaign to pressure energy companies to cut off a key source of Kremlin funding.

Oleg Ustenko, chief economic adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has written letters to the largest Western energy companies asking them to end all commercial relations with Russia, including trade in its oil.

“At this existential moment for our nation, we ask that you end all business relations with Russia’s fossil fuel industry to cut off the flow of money that funds the mass murder of innocent people,” Ustenko wrote in letters to BP, Shell, TotalEnergies, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

BP, Shell and Exxon have announced plans to shed stakes in Russian investments, but together with commodity traders they have largely continued to lift barrels of oil from the country which they are forced to take as part of long-term contracts.

A BP gas station in Moscow © Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Shell said it would end all purchases of Russian oil on the spot market and phase out contracted volumes.

The letters also said Ukraine would create a group to track tankers picking up Russian oil in partnership with activists, academics, civil society groups and data providers.

The call came as Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, jumped 6.6% to $115 a barrel on Monday, after Saudi officials said they would shirk future liability in the event of a energy shortage in the world.

EU officials said on Monday they would discuss sanctions on Russian energy exports, despite opposition from Germany and the Netherlands, which believe the bloc is too dependent on the country’s oil to to do the housework.

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