New Delhi: Shell has defended its decision to purchase Russian crude oil despite the invasion and bombardment of Ukraine, BBC reported.
The oil giant said in a statement that the decision to purchase the fuel at a discounted price was “difficult”.
It confirmed that it had bought a cargo of Russian crude oil on Friday but it had “no alternative”.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba hit out at the energy company, asking on Twitter: “Doesn’t Russian oil smell Ukrainian blood for you?”
Although the purchase does not violate any sanctions introduced by Western countries, Kuleba called on businesses to continue to apply pressure to Russia.
A spokesperson for Shell said, however, that the company is trying to maintain supplies of fuels and in this case it had no alternative crude supplies which would reach Europe in time, BBC reported.
In a statement, the firm said it remains “appalled by the war in Ukraine” and that it has stopped most activities involving Russian oil, but added that the situation with supplies is “highly complex”.
Russian oil currently makes up about 8 per cent of work supply.
One of Shell’s refineries, which produces diesel and petrol and other products, is also among the biggest in Europe.
“To be clear, without an uninterrupted supply of crude oil to refineries, the energy industry cannot assure continued provision of essential products to people across Europe over the weeks ahead,” the spokesperson said, BBC reported.
“Cargoes from alternative sources would not have arrived in time to avoid disruptions to market supply.
“We didn’t take this decision lightly and we understand the strength of feeling around it.”