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Ukraine has urged global marine insurance firms to sever business ties with shipping companies carrying Russian fossil fuels to further isolate Moscow, Bloomberg has reported. 

In a letter sent out earlier this week, chief economic advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Oleg Ustenko asked several insurance firms to withdraw coverage. 

The move is aimed at reducing the amount of cash flowing into the Russian economy through energy exports. 

“On behalf of President Zelenskiy, and the Ukrainian people, in this existential moment for our nation, we are asking you to terminate all business dealings with the Russian fossil fuel industry, to cut off the flow of cash which is financing the mass murder of innocent people,” Ustenko said. 

The contents of the letter have been confirmed by Ustenko to Bloomberg News. 

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Ustenko had sent the letter to the International Group of P&I Clubs, which is comprised of insurance associations and is said to cover “approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage”.

According to the letter, since the war began on 24 February 2022, the club’s members have provided insurance cover to 363 ships carrying energy supplies from Russian ports. 

Notably, energy export is a key source of revenue for the Russian government and some nations have said they will reduce the import of fossil fuels from Russia or stop it altogether. 

International Group of P&I Clubs CEO Nick Shaw that withdrawal of coverage will do little to stop ship operators as they can get cover from insurers who are not part of the group. 

“I can confirm that we are in ongoing discussions with Ukraine, helping them to understand how P&I cover works,” Shaw told the publication in an email.