This article was published by Radio Free Europe on March 8, 2022.
Energy giant Shell has announced it will halt all purchases of Russian oil and gas and close other operations in the country, joining dozens of other companies in severing ties with Moscow over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Shell said in a statement on March 8 that it was wrong to buy a cargo of Russian crude oil last week, a move sharply criticized as Moscow ratcheted up its bombing and shelling of Ukrainian cities, including hitting residential areas, and said it was now withdrawing from all Russian hydrocarbons, including crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, “in a phased manner.”
The company had already announced it intends to end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project and exit its equity partnerships with Russia’s Gazprom and related entities, including its 27.5 per cent stake in the Sakhalin-II liquefied natural gas facility, its 50 percent stake in the Salym Petroleum Development, and the Gydan energy venture.
“We are acutely aware that our decision last week to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil to be refined into products like petrol and diesel — despite being made with security of supplies at the forefront of our thinking — was not the right one and we are sorry,” Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said in the statement.
“As we have already said, we will commit profits from the limited, remaining amounts of Russian oil we will process 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,” he added.
Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Since then, more than 2 million civilians have fled Ukraine.
Dozens of companies, including major oil sector firms such as BP and Exxon, have said they are exiting Russia as the West imposes tight sanctions on Russia as punishment for its aggression against Ukraine.