The French company TotalEnergies is accused of being involved in the supply of fuel to the planes of the Russian army

France’s transport minister on Thursday called for an investigation into whether French oil company TotalEnergies was involved in the supply of jet fuel to the Russian military through a local joint venture, Reuters reports.

The investigation started after the newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday that TotalEnergies was involved in the supply of gas condensate, a liquid hydrocarbon that is converted into kerosene, to produce fuel for planes that could have been used in the war in Ukraine. This would have been possible through collaboration with the Russian company Novatek.

“This is an extremely serious subject, so there must be an investigation into whether, voluntarily or involuntarily, there has been a circumvention of either the sanctions or the energy that one company, French or another, has produced,” French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said in an interview with France 2 television.

TotalEnergies, which, unlike its great Western rivals, has retained its assets in Russia despite criticism, said it does not operate the infrastructure that would have supplied the Russian military and that it does not know of any potential production of warplane fuel by its business partners.

Le Monde said the fuel delivered to two Russian air force bases that were likely involved in airstrikes in Ukraine was produced from gas condensate supplied by Terneftegaz, in which Totalenergies owns 49%.

French company TotalEnergies on Wednesday denied information presented by Le Monde on Wednesday that the condensate of gas converted into jet fuel and delivered by a company it co-owned with the Russian company Novatek had supplied the Russian army’s bases.

“No, TotalEnergies does not produce kerosene for the Russian military,” the company said in a statement.