Shell sells Russian investment over Putin’s offense against Ukraine

Shell sells Russian investment over Putin's offense against Ukraine

The British multinational oil and gas company Shell is set to end all of its joint ventures with the Russian energy company Gazprom following the its invasion of Ukraine.

Shell’s chief executive, Ben van Beurden, said the company is “shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine” and this move will include the oil giant’s 27.5 percent stake in a major liquefied natural gas plant.

Shell will quit the flagship Sakhalin II facility, which is 50 percent owned and operated by Gazprom, and will also sell its 50 percent stake in two Siberian oilfield projects, as well as end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which it helped finance among a mix of other companies.

The 1,200km pipeline under the Baltic Sea had already been put on hold by German ministers.

In a statement issued on Monday, Shell said that it expects the move, which will also apply to any related entities to Gazprom, will be worth about $3bn.

“We cannot – and we will not – stand by and our decision to exit is one we take with conviction”,  said Van Beurdenhe

The move is intended to cut Russia off from the international financial system and to harm their ability to operate globally.

Major Russian banks are also having their assets frozen and being excluded from the UK financial system. This stops them from accessing the sterling pound and clearing payments through the UK.

At the same time, several governments have imposed sanctions on some individuals, including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and a number of members of Russia’s oligarch elite.

Shell’s decision follows that of BP, which announced that it would offload its stake in the Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft, which it has held since 2013.

Its boss Bernard Looney also said he would resign from the board of Rosneft with “immediate effect”, having played a part on it since 2000, alongside chairman Igor Sechin, who is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

With input from BBC

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