One of the senior economic advisors to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has written to major European and US banks, such as JPMorgan and HSBC, urging that they cease doing business with companies that trade Russian oil or maintain stakes in Russian energy monopolies Gazprom and Rosneft, as per reports.
The top Zelenskyy aide has blamed the lenders of “war crimes” and called for a complete break to credit allowances to companies involved in the transportation of Russian oil. The banks were told that if they refused to end the credit arrangements, they would be blocked from taking part in the postwar reconstruction of Ukraine.
The economic advisor, Oleg Ustenko, told the Financial Times that the Ukrainian Ministry for Justice is intending to sue certain banks at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the end of the war. Ustenko also claimed that Ukraine’s security services had begun to collect information on particular banks and financial institutions that were involved in financing Russian fossil fuels.
“In my view, they are committing war crimes because they are helping the Putin regime,” the economic advisor said.
Russian energy exports contribute significantly to the budget of Russia’s armed forces in tax revenue. In 2019, the oil and gas sector accounted for roughly 40% of Russia’s federal budget revenues, and up to 60% of its exports and GDP.
Although the ICC cannot prosecute governments or corporations, it may attempt to investigate leading individuals from these organisations.