While war rages in Ukraine following the military invasion by Russia to stop NATO’s expansion, and the Western countries including Britain rain down sanctions on Russia, these countries have been busy buying up Russian Oil and Gas.
On Friday, Britain’s Shell purchased 100,000 metric tons of flagship Urals crude from Russia, at a record discount as many firms shunned Russian oil due to the latest development in Ukraine.
The transaction did not violate any Western sanctions, as Britain and her NATO allies has refused to sanction Russian energy despite calls from all quarters in their respective countries to do so.
On Friday, U.S Secretary of State, Antony Blinken all but ruled out sanctions on Russian Energy, saying there was no strategic interest in reducing the global supply of energy.
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In an ironic twist, Shell, Europe’s largest energy company has announced plans to donate the profits of the massively discounted purchase of Russian crude oil to a fund that helps Ukrainian refugees.
Justifying its decision to procure the crude oil, the Oil major released a statement on its twitter handle saying;
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.
Shell proceeded to commit the profits from the Russian oil to a dedicated fund.
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.
The company added that it had 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 will continue to choose alternatives to Russian oil wherever possible, but this cannot happen overnight because of how significant Russia is to global supply,” Shell added.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur