France's TotalEnergies accused of supplying fuel to Russian air force

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France's TotalEnergies accused of supplying fuel to Russian air force
(Photo by Christophe Archambault / AFP)

French giant TotalEnergies has denied reports that it is directly involved in the sale of kerosene used to refuel Russian fighter planes involved in the war in Ukraine.


The French group has been strongly criticised previously for holding on to Russian assets despite sanctions, and has pulled some of its business out of Russia, but remains involved in the gas sector. 

But that criticism has moved to a new level after French newspaper Le Monde reported that gas condensates used to create kerosene for the Russian air force are being extracted from a deposit operated by Russian company Terneftegaz - which is 49 percent owned by TotalEnergies.

The other 51 percent of Terneftegaz is owned by Novatek - in which TotalEnergies has a 19 percent stake.


Planes fuelled by kerosene delivered by Terneftegaz were involved in the bombing of the besieged city of Mariupol in March.

The French company also has stakes in two gas fields in the far north of Russia.

"No, TotalEnergies does not produce kerosene for the Russian army. No, TotalEnergies is in no way associated with the supply of fuel to Russian military aviation in any form whatsoever," a spokesperson for TotalEnergies said.

Despite the widespread condemnation, the group has said that keeping its holdings in Russia is the best way to enforce international sanctions because otherwise they would fall into the hands of oligarchs linked to the Kremlin. 


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