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Shell apologies; says it will stop buying Russian oil, natural gas

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Energy giant Shell on Tuesday apologised for buying a discounted consignment of Russian oil amid the invasion of Ukraine, and has said that it will stop purchasing Russian oil and natural gas as well as shut down its service stations and other operations in the country.

The oil major’s statement comes amid international pressure on companies to sever ties with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

“As an immediate first step, the company will stop all spot purchases of Russian crude oil. It will also shut its service stations, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia,” Shell said in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement comes just days after Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba slammed the company for continuing to buy Russian oil when the country has launched a deadly offensive against Ukraine.

Shell on Friday had bought 100,000 metric tons of flagship Urals crude from Russia, reportedly at a heavy discount.

“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 CEO Ben van Beurden said in the statement.

Shell which has clarified that it would soon exit its joint ventures with Russian gas company Gazprom and related firms, has said that it would divert the profits earned from the discounted Russian oil towards humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Beurden shared how companies are now caught between putting pressure on the Russian government over its attack on Ukraine while ensuring that there is a secure and stable supply of energy across Europe.

“Ultimately, it is for governments to decide on the incredibly difficult trade-offs that must be made during the war in Ukraine. We will continue to work with them to help manage the potential impacts on the security of energy supplies, particularly in Europe,” he said.

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