Shell exits Russian energy projects worth $3bn; FIFA, UEFA ban clubs, national teams | NN NEWS


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Shell is ending all its ventures with Russian companies, with chief executive Ben van Beurden condemning its invasion of Ukraine as a “senseless act of military aggression”.

It will sell its stakes in joint ventures with Gazprom, Russia’s majority state-owned energy company, including a 27.5% stake in a major liquified natural gas plant.

The decision comes after BP decided to offload its share of a state-owned oil firm, Rosneft.

Shell also plans to end its involvement in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which it helped finance along with a collection of other companies. Germany has already halted the project.

The company said it would take a hit to its balance sheet, with its ventures with Gazprom valued at about $3bn (£2.3bn).

“Our decision to exit is one we take with conviction. We cannot – and we will not – stand by,” van Beurden said.

Fifa and Uefa ban all Russian clubs and national teams

Football’s world governing body Fifa and Europe’s governing body Uefa have suspended Russian clubs and national teams from all competitions.

The move comes after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommended that Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials are banned from any organised international competitions.

It means the Russian men’s team will not play their World Cup play-off matches next month and the women’s team have been banned from this summer’s European Championship.

The war in Ukraine should encourage the world to accelerate the switch to renewable energy, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said.

His message comes as the UN issues its bleakest assessment yet of how climate change is affecting the world.

“Fossil fuels are a dead end,” Guterres said.

The UN chief said the conflict in Ukraine shows continuing to rely on fossil fuels “makes the global economy and energy security vulnerable to geopolitical shocks and crises”.

He added that a “prompt, well-managed transition to renewables” is the only pathway to energy security and the green jobs the world needs.

A quarter of the European Union’s petroleum oil imports come from Russia, along with almost half its gas.

The irony that European nations are effectively paying for the war in Ukraine has not been lost on the continent’s leaders.

The panic that Putin’s actions caused in energy markets has only increased the profits Russia makes by driving up the price we all pay for energy – which is one reason we are already seeing a dramatic pivot to alternative supplies.

What sanctions has the West imposed and why are they hitting so hard?

Most notably, the EU, US, UK and allies have agreed to remove selected Russian banks from the Swift messaging system, which enables the smooth transfer of money across borders. The move is intended to cut Russia off from the international financial system and to “harm their ability to operate globally”.

Western leaders have also agreed to freeze the assets of Russia’s central bank, to limit its ability to access its $630bn (£470bn) international dollar reserves.

Major Russian banks are having their assets frozen and being excluded from the UK financial system. This stops them from accessing pound sterling and clearing payments through the UK.

And Western governments have also imposed sanctions on some individuals, including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and a number of members of Russia’s oligarchic elite.

The EU, UK, US and Canada have launched a transatlantic task force to identify and freeze the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies, targeting more “officials and elites close to the Russian government, as well as their families”.

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