Kyiv, Ukraine - For Immediate Release
Feb 8, 2024
In a determined move to put a stop to the Kremlin's funding for its military aggression against Ukraine, the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) of Ukraine's Committee on Energy, Housing, and Utilities has issued a compelling appeal to key Western leaders, urging them to implement additional sanctions on Russia's liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in the Arctic.
The Verkhovna Rada, expressing gratitude for the unwavering support received thus far, specifically calls on Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to take decisive actions against Novatek's Yamal LNG and Arctic LNG 2 initiatives.
Svitlana Romanko, Founder and Director of Razom We Stand, Comments: "We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian Parliament's call for expanded sanctions on Russian LNG. The tragic loss of human life in Ukraine, including thousands of civilians and children, is unfortunately often paid for by cash sent to Russia from Western nations. Sustainable peace in Ukraine and worldwide relies on a crucial shift away from dependence on Russian oil and gas, steering towards a clean energy future. The appeal rightly emphasises the pivotal role of LNG projects in financing the war and the urgent need to curtail this funding source. Our collective action can contribute to both ending the conflict in Ukraine and addressing the global climate crisis.”
In the letter, Ukrainian officials emphasise the profound financial implications of Russia's reliance on fossil fuel exports to sustain its military aggression. As oil and gas companies are pivotal in bankrolling Russia’s war chest, immediate sanctions on the LNG sector are crucial.
“To finance its war of aggression, the Kremlin has become ever more reliant on exports of fossil fuels for budget income. Oil and gas companies today constitute the most significant taxpayers in Russia, playing a pivotal role in shaping the balance of payments and stabilising the national currency,” the document details.
Despite Western sanctions on Russia's energy sector, the appeal notes that the country has amassed over $600 billion in profits from fossil fuel exports since the full-scale invasion began nearly two years ago. According to official statements delivered on February 8, 2023, Russia plans to nearly triple its LNG export capacity by 2030, from 35 million tons to 100 million tons annually. To achieve that, Russia aims to build four new LNG terminals in the Arctic in addition to the existing Yamal LNG.
These revenues serve as direct funding for Russia’s military budget at a time when the Kremlin is set to allocate nearly a third of its total expenditures to the military and military-industrial complex, marking the highest allocation since the Soviet era.
The Rada letter highlights the role of European companies, including shipping operators and marine insurance providers, in aiding Novatek's LNG deliveries. Outlining specific vessels insured in the UK and Norway, the appeal urges targeted sanctions against these entities to choke the financial lifeline sustaining Russia's war machine.
The time to act is now. Western nations must introduce comprehensive sanctions against the Russian LNG sector, targeting Arctic LNG 2 and limiting exports from Yamal LNG, as well as sanctions against heavy lift companies transporting LNG modules and operators of fifteen Arc7 LNG carriers, and halt Western companies from providing P&I (liability insurance for practically all maritime liability risks associated with the operation of a vessel) for vessels carrying Russian LNG.
Svitlana Romanko was recently quoted on the White House's official website in response to the Biden administration's decision to pause LNG exports.
Razom We Stand is a Ukrainian organisation active internationally, calling for a total and permanent embargo on Russian fossil fuels and an immediate end to all investment into Russian oil and gas companies by phasing out fossil fuels globally.
Quotes from Svitlana Romanko provided herein may be used for publication with appropriate attribution.
Svitlana Romanko has appeared in top-tier international press, including Politico, Bloomberg, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Financial Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, and Le Monde; a detailed list is here.
Professional photos of Svitlana Romanko are copyright-free here unless otherwise noted on the image.
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Paraic Walker - International Communications Specialist at Razom We Stand
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