Tesco and Sainsbury’s accused of ‘passing money to Putin’ after ‘importing Russian fuel’

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Fuel tankers from the “big four” supermarkets – Tesco, Sainsbury’s Asda and Morrisons – were allegedly caught topping up at an Essex terminal where a shipment of Russian diesel arrived this week.

Supermarket tankers were filmed by Greenpeace on Wednesday and Thursday arriving at fuel storage provider Navigator Terminals, in Thurrock, hours after a 33,000-tonne shipment was delivered.

The trucks were then tracked and pictured offloading diesel at forecourt storage facilities in Norfolk and Bedford, meaning drivers could be unwittingly filling up on diesel that is directly funding Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Greenpeace, who carried out the investigation, said an Asda tanker pictured leaving the liquid storage provider could not be tracked to its destination.

Elena Polisano, Greenpeace UK oil and gas campaigner, said: “Supermarkets were quick to remove Russian vodka from shelves and rename their chicken Kievs as chicken Kyivs.

“Customers will be outraged if supermarkets are asking them to donate to Ukraine at the till, but passing their money to Putin at the pump.

“If Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons truly want to stand by Ukraine, they should make sure they’re not filling their pumps with Putin’s diesel that is directly funding his bloody war.

“At the very least, they should demand that the government implement an immediate ban on imports of Russian fossil fuels.”

Asda refused to comment but refuted the claim it had imported Russian fuel. 

Andrew Opie, director for food at the British Retail Consortium, said: “Our members are fully committed to phasing out Russian oil in line with the Government’s decision and are working to do so as quickly as possible while ensuring good supply for customers.”

Sainsbury’s said: “Today we have confirmed that we are already working to reduce the amount of diesel we sell which comes from Russia and we will stop selling diesel from Russia in our petrol filling stations in line with the UK’s action against Russian oil imports, by the end of the year.

“This is a complex process which we are committed to working together with the rest of the UK fuel industry and Government to achieve, as part of the UK’s action against Russian oil imports.”

The other “big four” supermarkets have been contacted for comment.

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