Shell pledges to put profits from Russian oil purchases in Ukrainian aid fund

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma

Shell pledged on Saturday to put any profits it makes from the purchase of Russian oil into a special fund to assist Ukrainians after receiving intense backlash for buying a Russian oil shipment.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the oil company said it would “commit profits from the limited amount of Russian oil we have to purchase to a dedicated fund” and would coordinate with humanitarian agencies and partners for how to distribute the money.

This comes after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Saturday morning he was made aware of Shell “discretely” purchasing oil from Russia.

“One question to @Shelldoesn’t Russian oil smell Ukrainian blood for you?” Kuleba tweeted. “I call on all conscious people around the globe to demand multinational companies to cut all business ties with Russia.”

In its statement, posted a few hours after Kuleba’s tweet, Shell noted that Russia is a significant oil producer. Russia is the world’s third-largest producer of oil after the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, producing about 10 percent of the global oil supply.

“Yesterday we made the difficult decision to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil,” the company said, saying the purchase was made with the intent of providing “security of energy 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,” Shell added.

On Monday, Shell announced that it would end joint ventures with Russian majority state-owned oil giant Gazprom, joining a slew of companies severing ties with Russia and Russian entities amid the country’s invasion in Ukraine.

In Saturday’s statement, Shell said it was still committed to ending ventures with Gazprom.

“We are appalled by the war in Ukraine,” the company said.

The news comes as the Biden administration is weighing whether to ban Russian oil imports in the U.S..

The decision is complicated by rising gas prices, with average U.S. gas prices reaching $3.92 per gallon nationally as of Saturday afternoon, according to the transportation company Triple A.
Tags Dmytro Kuleba oil Russia-Ukraine conflict Shell
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