Which big brands are quietly funding Russia’s oil-drenched war on Ukraine?
Three months into Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine, all the big British supermarkets - Sainsbury's, Tesco, Morrison's and Asda - are continuing to quietly sell Russian-origin oil products at their forecourts, fuelling Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine.
(We've posted the evidence below)
Meanwhile, these supermarkets are publicly asking their customers to donate humanitarian funds to help Ukrainians in this crisis.
It's a crazy, farcical situation.
We've launched a sticker campaign called #PumpingForPutin, to demand these brands to stop selling Russian origin oil products, to stop funding bloodshed and war in Ukraine.
Order your stickers at postage-only cost HERE, and stick them on your local petrol pump.
Ukraine is urgently calling for exactly this type of public action - to demand all companies stop buying and selling Russian oil, especially in road fuels for cars, the biggest oil consuming sector.
Let's show that British consumers and the public are outraged that household brands are quietly funding Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine by selling its oil products to unwitting drivers.
Thanks for taking action for peace, in solidarity with Ukraine (and the many Russians opposing Putin's war despite the repression they face).
Follow the money, as they say. Russia’s biggest export earner by far is oil (not gas), revenues from which are rising due to high oil prices.
The UK is a big importer of Russian oil - 170,000 barrels a day as of November last year, more than many EU countries.
Among all the different oil products, the UK is especially hungry for Russian diesel. Around a third of the UK’s diesel imports come from Russia. And if you include diesel refined from Russian crude oil, at refineries in the UK or Netherlands, that share is much higher.
Wait, I hear you say - hasn’t the UK embargoed Russian oil? Yes, the UK announced an embargo on Russian oil imports back in March - but it only comes into force at the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Russia’s oil-fuelled war continues, tankers of Russian oil continue to arrive in the UK, and people are dying every day.
So let's look into which of the UK’s biggest fuel retailers are still selling Russian oil, or whether some have stopped doing so in response to the war.
Rather than tracking oil tanker movements using sophisticated satellite data, we took the more direct route of simply asking them directly (see screenshots below).
All four big British supermarkets - Sainsbury's, Tesco, Morrison's and Asda - are continuing to quietly sell Russian oil products at their forecourts, fuelling Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine, even while publicly asking their customers to donate funds to help Ukrainians.
Their revenues from selling Russian diesel are likely to far outstrip their commitments to help Ukraine.
Sainsbury's customer service confirmed they are still selling Russian diesel.
They say they are "working to reduce this", but when pushed, could not name any concrete steps the company is actually taking, such as demanding its fuel suppliers switch sourcing.
Morrisons refused to directly answer the question of whether they are selling Russian oil products, but instead pointed us to a statement of their trade association:
If Morrisons is still "in the process" of phasing out Russian diesel, then yes, they're still selling it.
Tesco & Asda - did not respond to emails requesting comment. However they are both members of the British Retail Consortium (BRC), so same as above applies - they are "in the process" of phasing out Russian diesel, so still selling it.
Esso - Esso's press office declined to answer whether it could guarantee Esso service stations are free of Russian origin oil products. Instead, it gave this response:
Of course, just because there are no deliveries currently scheduled for the UK, (this message was received April 11th) it doesn't mean further deliveries won't be ordered.
When questioned on exactly this point, and whether Esso will commit to stop buying Russian crude oil and products any earlier than the very last day of the year-end legal cut off, Esso did not reply.
We're still waiting for responses from the last two big UK fuel retailers, Shell and BP. We'll update when we hear from them, but don't expect any different responses from other fuel retailers.
If you're as shocked as we are that Russian oil is quietly being sold at petrol pumps across the UK, here's how to get involved in raising the alarm.
Order “#PumpingForPutin” stickers here, and show the fuel retailers that consumers are outraged that household brands are quietly funding Russia’s brutal war on Ukraine by selling its oil products to unwitting drivers.
Batches of stickers can also being sent out free to anyone who is in financial hardship - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ukrainians are urgently calling for Europe to stand united and help defund his war machine. UK shoppers hear their cry for help and want to answer. Nobody wants Russian blood oil being sold in this country. We need the big fuel retailers to step up and take action now!”
Here are our demands - and we'd love to hear yours too.
-- We demand that all UK fuel retailers stop funding the war, and stop selling Russian-origin oil products, whether directly imported from Russia, or refined from Russian crude oil.
-- We demand that all UK fuel retailers come clean on where their oil is from, including what % of sales are Russian origin (both refined products like diesel imported directly, as well as refined products made in full or part from Russian crude oil).
--We demand that all UK fuel retailers announce a clear date by when their forecourts will be 100% free of Russian origin oil products.
--We support the demand of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, Transport & Environment UK, and NGOs across Europe, for mandatory, fully transparent country-of-origin labelling at the petrol pump, to give citizens the information they need to stop buying Russian origin oil products.
--We demand all fuel retailers in the UK publish their policy for monitoring and reducing the risk of human rights abuses in their oil supply chains, detailing whether they will continue to sell oil products from governments involved in wars, human rights abuses (including abuse of the rights of women, LGBTQ people, ethnic minorities) the financing of terrorism, and spreading of hate speech.
--If fuel retailers argue that it's impossible to respect human rights given the problems across all oil producing countries, we respect that view. We would suggest that they exist the oil business, in favour of clean, zero-emission mobility solutions powered by 100% renewable energy.
-- The IPCC has made clear that we need to stop burning oil products in order to stop climate change. We therefore demand that all UK fuel retailers set a clear date by when they will stop selling oil products altogether in the UK, and accelerate their switch to supporting shared and electric mobility instead.