Royal Dutch Shell, an oil major, announced on Saturday that it will use any Russian oil it buys to fund humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
Shell bought Russian crude oil on Friday at a record-breaking discount. This was the first such deal since Russia invaded Ukraine last Thursday.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, criticized the deal as it did not violate Western sanctions against Moscow.
“I was told that Shell discreetly purchased some Russian oil yesterday. Kuleba asked @Shell a question in a tweet: Does Russian oil smell like Ukrainian blood?
@Shell buys #Russian oil at record discount ($28.50 a barrel) Brent Crude – nine-year high of $118 a barrel since the war began #Shell is saving millions of pounds at a time when global prices are surging BUT this will not be passed onto the consumer. https://t.co/E9tpVEhNLF https://t.co/Eh3ZoQxGjG
— Share_Talk ™ (@Share_Talk) March 5, 2022
Shell issued a statement shortly after the purchase, defending it and stating that it would look for alternatives to Russian oil whenever possible. However, this cannot happen overnight due to how important Russia is to global supply.
The statement added, “We didn’t take this decision lightly and understand the strength of feelings around it.”
Shell stated that it would donate any profits it makes from Russian oil purchases to a dedicated fund. This fund would be governed by aid agencies and Shell would decide where the funds could best be used to alleviate the hardships of the Ukrainian people.
Russian exporters have had to deal with severe credit and shipping problems in recent days, which has caused delays and cancellations in their efforts to find buyers for Russian crude oil.
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