NACP adds Belgian gas company Fluxys to list of international war sponsors
The National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NACP) has added Belgian independent gas system operator Fluxys to the list of international sponsors of war. The reason was that the company facilitates the export of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG), which provides funding for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Fluxys, a Belgian independent gas system operator, provides storage and transshipment facilities for Russian liquefied natural gas to Yamal LNG at its terminal in Zeebrugge. The majority share of Yamal LNG belongs to the Russian gas company Novatek, which is directly involved in financing military aggression and war crimes in Ukraine.
A detailed analysis conducted by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) in 2022 showed that Fluxys and its shareholders profited by facilitating Russian LNG exports to the markets of Asia, South America, and the Middle East, especially in the winter months of 2021–2022, which exacerbated the European energy crisis and increased profits for Novatek. Novatek is a company owned by Russian oligarchs Leonid Mikhelson and Gennady Timchenko. It is the main supplier of Russian liquefied natural gas to international markets. Mikhelson and Timchenko are members of Vladimir Putin's inner circle and, with the help of his regime, have seized stakes in Russian oil and gas projects.
Novatek is the largest private natural gas producer in Russia. In July 2014, the company was included in the sanctions lists of the United States and Canada. In 2016, the United States imposed sanctions on several Novatek subsidiaries.
On November 2, 2023, the United States imposed sanctions against the Arctic LNG 2 project, which was intended to double Novatek's export capacity.
"At least a third of the Russian budget goes to war. Fluxys services help Russia replenish it by 800 million euros this year. For example, this includes eight Su-35 fighters. There can also be 800 Kalibr missiles that will be used to attack Ukraine's energy infrastructure in the winter and kill Ukrainians. These are well-known facts. Fluxys is well aware of this but continues to sponsor Russia's war," said Oleksandr Novikov, Head of the NACP.
The main shareholders of Fluxys are Belgian municipalities (77.41%) and the Belgian federal government (3.44%). Both parties claim to have high respect for international humanitarian law, which prohibits deliberate attacks on civilians or critical civilian infrastructure. These commitments contradict the actual continuation of cooperation with the Russian company Novatek.
While many companies ceased all interaction with the Russian Federation after February 24, 2022, Fluxys continued to work with Yamal LNG and Novatek throughout 2022 and into 2023. According to international experts, Russia expects to receive up to EUR 800 million in export tax revenues from the transshipment of LNG in Zeebrugge in 2023. Only 7% of this gas goes to EU markets. Fluxys receives EUR 50 million a year for this service under a long-term contract signed in 2015, a year after Russia annexed Crimea and started the war in eastern Ukraine. NACP is the body responsible for the compliance system in the private sector. During compliance procedures, counterparties are subject to integrity checks, including socially responsible business conduct in accordance with OECD standards.