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ICYMI: Washington Post: Bipartisan senators seek information about Russian oil flows to U.S. supplier

WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) are pushing the Department of Defense to take action to ensure that they are not purchasing oil and gas from Russia. The letter follows an investigation showing that shipments of sanctioned fuel have appeared at a refinery serving the U.S. military. The Washington Post wrote about the bipartisan effort to keep American tax dollars from going to Russia.

Read more from Washington Post here or below:

Washington Post: Bipartisan senators seek information about Russian oil flows to U.S. supplier

By Evan Halper, Dalton Bennett and Jonathan O'Connell

The Pentagon is facing congressional pressure to stop the flow of Russian oil into its supply chain after a Washington Post examination revealing that shipments of the forbidden fuel have been making their way to a refinery that serves the U.S. military.

Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), lawmakers prominent in the push to step up enforcement of oil sanctions, called on the Defense Department to explain the steps it is taking to root out Russian oil from its supply chain. They demanded answers to several written questions and a briefing from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

“Russian entities are exploiting loopholes and workarounds, to not only bring gas and oil to market, but in some cases surreptitiously sell fuel to the DoD,” wrote the senators, citing reporting from The Post and the Project on Government Oversight.

The reporting tracked the shipment of banned petroleum products from Russian Black Sea ports to Motor Oil Hellas, the Pentagon’s supplier in Greece. The shipments were routed through a terminal in Turkey, which told The Post in an e-mail it merely stores products and complies with all laws. The Greek refinery said in statements to The Post that the fuel came with customs paperwork identifying it as sanctions-compliant, but shipping and other data identify large amounts of it originating in Russia.

[…]“The maze-like path of the oil from terminals in Russia to the U.S. fleet is almost certainly done intentionally by Russia to evade sanctions,” the senators wrote in their letter. “It is incumbent upon the DoD to take clear steps to ensure that it is not contributing to the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine.”