Supermarket tankers fill up on Russian diesel, Greenpeace claims

Campaigners say a shipment arrived at the Navigator Terminals in Essex.

August Graham
Friday 20 May 2022 16:24
Tankers filled up from the terminal on the Thames this week (Kristian Buus/Greenpeace/PA)
Tankers filled up from the terminal on the Thames this week (Kristian Buus/Greenpeace/PA)

Fuel tankers from several of the biggest supermarkets in the country have been spotted taking diesel from Russia, campaigners say.

Greenpeace photographed Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons tankers at the Navigator Terminals on the banks of the River Thames in Essex.

The tankers picked up fuel just hours after a shipment of 33,000 tonnes of diesel was delivered to the site, Greenpeace said, although the terminal also deals with shipments from other countries.

Greenpeace campaigner Elena Polisano 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.”

The Government has said it will phase out imports of Russian oil products by the end of this year, but in the meantime tankers can continue to come to Britain.

The supermarkets plan to also phase out Russian oil by the end of the year, 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,” BRC director of food Andrew Opie said.

But Greenpeace called for a quicker ban.

“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,” it said.

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

Greenpeace recently commissioned a poll by YouGov which revealed nearly three-quarters of Britons do not know supermarkets are selling Russian diesel and 71% want such sales to end immediately.

Asda and Tesco declined to comment, while Morrisons did not respond to a request for comment.

Sainsbury’s said it is working to reduce the amount of diesel it sells from Russia and will stop all sales by the end of the year.

There were several other deliveries of fuel to the Navigator Terminals site in the days leading up to the tanker’s arrival.

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