Shell to divert Russian oil profits to 'Ukraine aid'
Shell, notorious for its practices all over the globe, will be directing funds for Ukraine amid Kiev's crisis with Russia.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will be putting profits from any Russian oil it purchases into an "aid fund" for Ukraine, the notorious company announced Saturday.
Shell had purchased Friday Russian crude oil, the first trade between Moscow and the West since the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine last week.
The deal did not violate the wave of western sanctions imposed on Russia, but it faced criticism from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba amid Ukrainian calls for completely sanctioning Russia.
In a statement published after Kuleba's criticism, Shell defended its purchase, saying it would be choosing alternatives to Russian oil when doing so was a possibility, but it could not completely opt-out from purchasing Russian oil due to the significance of the federation to the global supply.
"We didn't take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of feeling around it," the statement added.
Shell said it would be giving any profits it gains from Russian oil to a dedicated fund to provide aid to the Ukrainian people, whose non-Ukrainian counterparts are suffering at the hands of the authorities in Kiev.
Foreigners residing in Ukraine have been subjected to unequal treatment and delays as they were trying to flee the country alongside hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, Human Rights Watch reported earlier Saturday.
Shell has faced backlash over its practices that harm the environment and marine life over the globe, and most recently in South Africa when hundreds of environmentalist demonstrators took to the beaches of the country to protest against oil and gas exploration by the Royal Dutch Shell.
In Cape Town, protesters held up peace symbols, banners reading "Shell in Hell," "Don't Shell us Out," and a giant model snoek fish to voice their concerns about the potential impact on marine life.
The US Congress had called on top executives of oil giants, including Shell, to testify on what they called a "long-running, industry-wide campaign to spread disinformation" regarding fossil fuels' role in causing global warming.
Shell's plans to search for oil and gas deposits off South Africa's Wild Coast, a beloved landmark and a key tourist attraction site, pose a danger to marine animals and marine life altogether, activists said.
The European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, and other western allies had imposed sanctions on Russia with the aim of suppressing the Russian economy and undermining Moscow's global influence over its special military operation in Ukraine.