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Ukraine Accuses Chinese Oil and Gas Firms of Sponsoring Russia’s War

Three Chinese energy giants have been added to Ukraine’s list of businesses that are helping bankroll Russia’s full-scale invasion, in a move Kyiv says will have repercussions for their work in the West.

In a statement Tuesday, Ukraine’s National Agency on Corruption Prevention confirmed that China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC Group), China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) had all been listed as “international sponsors of war.”

According to officials, the three state-run companies — China’s largest oil and gas businesses — are actively implementing joint projects alongside their Russian counterparts and help fund Moscow’s military and arms industries “by paying significant taxes” to the state.

According to the agency, inclusion on the register will be flagged through compliance systems and discourage firms abroad from working with listed firms.

While China has refused to openly condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, it has repeatedly expressed disquiet over the economic consequences of the conflict and even backed a U.N. resolution in May that criticized Moscow’s “aggression.”

However, Ukraine has stepped up its enforcement against Chinese businesses and state entities it says are collaborating with Russia, previously listing the China State Construction Engineering Corporation, online marketplace Alibaba and telecommunications company Xiaomi.

Russia has looked to China as a growing export market for oil and gas, replacing customers it lost in Europe as a result of its invasion of Ukraine last year. President Vladimir Putin in March announced a major new pipeline, dubbed Power-of-Siberia 2, that will carry 50 billion cubic meters of gas to China via Mongolia. However, critics say China will only buy energy at a substantial markdown and the move is more symbolic than practical.

In April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a bilateral call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping — the first since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. Describing the conversation as “long and meaningful,” Zelenskyy said he believed increasing diplomatic contacts would have positive results.

Source: Politico