Ukraine's government is calling on energy exchanges to ban traders dealing with Russia as international sanctions on the Kremlin begin to focus on commodities flows.
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A letter dated March 4 from Ukraine's Ministry of Economy sent to the Association of European Energy Exchanges, the EC, and energy community members states seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights, "calls on all exchanges and clearing centers to make every effort to apply the strictest restrictions and sanctions aimed at ending the war in Ukraine."
The letter goes on to ask exchanges to "immediately stop the access of Russian participants, or participants with ties to Russia, to exchange transactions on their exchanges, to stop clearing services of their OTC transactions, and to stop energy traders from cooperating with Russia and investment projects."
Europe's biggest energy majors, Shell and BP, said March 8 they are stopping all spot purchases of Russian crude and products as Western energy majors join in efforts to isolate Moscow. Apologizing for its recent purchase of a Russian crude cargo — which sparked public outcry — Shell said it will also shut its service stations, aviation fuels, and lubricants operations in Russia.
US President Joe Biden also announced March 8 a ban on imports of Russian oil and LNG as sanctions targeting the Kremlin goes beyond financial transactions and individuals to the heart of the country's economy.
The ban on new transactions for Russian energy imports takes effect immediately, but the US will grant 45 days for companies to wind down any existing contracts, a senior Biden administration official said in a background call with reporters.
The policy also prohibits new US investment in Russia's energy sector, formalizing steps private companies have already started taking in recent days.
Traders and refiners voluntarily cut US imports of Russian crude and products in the days after its Ukraine invasion.