02/12/2022

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Zelenskyy’s top economic adviser said Ukraine will prosecute companies that continue to trade Russian oil and gas. ‘These companies should be judged,’ he said.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said European countries buying Russian energy are making “money out of blood.”Emin Sansar/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top economic adviser said Ukraine will prosecute traders of Russian oil and gas.

  • “If companies are making war crimes, we are going to prosecute and sue,” Oleg Ustenko said in an interview with The Observer.

  • Ustenko said the traders knew Ukraine was “watching” them.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s top economic adviser has said Ukraine will prosecute companies that continue to trade in Russian oil and gas.

“Our belief is that if companies are making war crimes, we are going to prosecute and sue all these people,” Oleg Ustenko said in an interview with The Observer, a British newspaper, published late Saturday. “Maybe in a year, maybe in 10 years, but we are going to find these people.”

Ustenko said the traders knew Ukraine was “watching” them. “We know the name of the ship, the flag, the name of the captain, the volume of oil, we know how much money was paid for that oil, the port of destination, the company who sold the insurance,” he said. “We are going to work with this information.”

He told The Observer that Ukraine had “other things to do which are much more urgent now” but added: “They know we’re watching them and collecting this information.”

Ustenko estimated that Russia was making $1.4 billion a day from energy exports. In March, he called for a global ban on Russian energy imports.

Zelenskyy said last week that European countries that continue to buy Russian oil and gas are making “money out of blood.”

Despite sweeping Western sanctions on Russia, the country is making more money from energy exports than before it invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia is projected to make about $321 billion from energy exports in 2022, up more than a third from 2021, Bloomberg reported.

The US has banned Russian energy imports. Germany’s finance minister said recently that the country, the largest Western importer of Russian energy, was “willing to stop all energy imports from Russia” but this would take time.

Read the original article on Business Insider