Is your money funding Putin’s war machine?
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The horrors of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine are increasingly coming to light and sparking international outrage.
Millions of people are actively standing in solidarity with the victims of the war, supporting Ukrainian refugees and expressing opposition to the war (whether by donating, protesting, offering housing, etc.). Everything must be done to put an end to the suffering and devastation.
But the political and investment decisions of European governments, companies, banks and investors have played a crucial role in building up Putin’s economic and military power: did you know that you might be unwillingly fuelling Putin’s war machine with your money?
Greenpeace activists hold a banner next ot the 40,000-ton tanker Seasprat, which delivers processed oil from the Russian Baltic port of Primorsk. This action in the port of Bremen is part of a protest against oil imports from Russia, which help finance Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Many European banks and financial institutions are still, in one way or another, financing Russian fossil fuels and that money fuels Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The connection is clear: fossil fuels (and uranium) Europe buys from Russian companies. Those same companies not only fuel but also fund the Russian army, and thanks to some of the largest banks and investors in Europe, your money could be funding it.
We need to expose and confront the European financial institutions still funding Russian fossil fuels and the war. We have identified the top ten banks & investors based in Europe invested in the Russian oil and gas sector that have not committed to end finance to Russian fossil fuel companies:
— Intesa SanPaolo,
— Société Générale,
— Raiffeisen Bank International,
— Credit Suisse,
— East Capital,
— Carnegie Fonder.
People understand that money flows can go to socially or environmentally damaging activities, for example the destruction of a centuries-old forest to make space for a motorway or investing in dangerous energy extraction practices such as Arctic drilling, fracking, shale oil and gas. They also know that money flows can and should be redirected towards peace and safety, prioritising the needs of people and creating just economic and social systems.
Ukranians living in Vienna protested in front of the Raiffeisen Bank during the bank’s annual general meeting at the end of March and demanded that it quits its ties with the Russian market and stop sponsoring the war in Ukraine. Czech activists protested at Société Générale, Raiffeisen Bank and UniCredit’s Czech subsidiaries in April and demanded they stop financing Russian fossil fuels and the war. Greenpeace is relentlessly protesting the fossil fuel dependence that funds Putin’s invasion and has been urging financial institutions to stop providing financial services to fossil fuel companies for years.
Stopping the money flowing to Russian fossil fuels could help end this war sooner: it is an emergency. All over the world, fossil fuels have driven conflicts and political instability, and they will continue to do so as long as we consume and fund them.
A secure and safe energy system will be a huge part of creating lasting peace. Turning to renewables and energy efficiency redirects money from conflict to securing peace. We have to cut money flows that perpetuate violence and injustice and use money to create a better and safer world.
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