Downing Street calls on public sector bodies to review contracts with Russian energy suppliers
The government has instructed public sector bodies to review energy deals and other contracts they have with Russian firms, and consider switching suppliers.
Downing Street chief of staff Steve Barclay argued “public money should not fund Putin’s war machine.”
In a statement, he said: “We are asking hospitals, councils and other organisations across the public sector to urgently look at all the ways they can go further to sever their commercial ties to Russia.”
The UK has imposed heavy economic sanctions on Russia alongside Western allies targeting oligarchs, financial institutions and the country’s central bank.
It has joined the US in targeting Russian energy supplies – unlike its EU counterparts – pledging to phase out oil imports from the country by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Gazprom Energy – which is owned by the Kremlin-back fossil fuel giant is reportedly chasing buyers after a mass exodus of clients following Russia’s invasion of Ukrainr.
The company which is registered in the UK as Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T) supplies 21 per cent of the country’s industrial and commercial customers including the National Health Service and other public sector bodies.
GM&T narrowly averted insolvency in March.
If it were to collapse this could plunge the European gas market into disarray and would be likely to require a costly intervention by a special administrator .
It would not be the first firm to fall into administration with Bulb Energy collapsing last November – requiring up to £3bn of public funds to be propped up over winter.