Ukraine’s foreign minister has criticized Shell for buying oil from Russia and called on the public to demand that big business cut all trade ties with Vladimir Putin’s country.
The oil giant confirmed it made a crude oil purchase on Friday, but said it had “no alternative” in this case and called the decision “difficult”.
Dmytro Kuleba launched it publicly, asking the company on Twitter: “Doesn’t Russian oil smell like Ukrainian blood for you?”
It comes after Shell on Monday announced its intention to sell its stake in all joint ventures with its Russian partner Gazprom, calling the Ukrainian invasion “senseless” and a threat to European security.
Mr Kuleba tweeted: “I am told that Shell quietly bought Russian oil yesterday. A question to @Shell: doesn’t Russian oil smell of Ukrainian blood to you?
“I call on all conscious people around the world to demand that multinational companies cut all commercial ties with Russia.”
A Shell spokesman confirmed to the PA news agency that it bought a batch of Russian crude oil on Friday, but said the company was trying to maintain supplies of essential fuels and in this case it did not There was no alternative crude supply that would reach Europe in time.
In a statement, the company said it remained “appalled by the war in Ukraine” and said it had stopped most activities involving Russian oil, but added that the supply situation was “very complex”.
A spokesperson said: ‘Our refineries produce petrol and diesel and other products that people rely on every day.
“To be clear, without an uninterrupted supply of crude oil to refineries, the energy industry cannot ensure the continued supply of essential products to people across Europe over the coming weeks.
“Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid market supply disruptions.
“We did not take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of the feelings surrounding it.”
The company said that while it “will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible”, change “cannot happen overnight due to Russia’s importance in the global supply”.
The spokesperson added: “We have had intense discussions with governments and continue to take their advice on this issue of security of supply, and are acutely aware that we must navigate this dilemma with the utmost care.
“We welcome any direction or ideas from governments and policy makers as we try to keep Europe moving and in business.”
Shell has pledged to commit the profits “from the limited amount of Russian oil we have to buy” into a dedicated fund and to work with aid partners and humanitarian agencies to “determine where the funds from this fund go.” better placed to mitigate the terrible consequences that this war is raging on the Ukrainian people”.
On Monday, the company said it would sell its 27.5% stake in a Russian liquefied natural gas facility, a 50% stake in an oil field project in Siberia and an energy joint venture.
He will also end his involvement in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany, which was suspended by ministers in Berlin.