Two environmental groups have sued French energy company TotalEnergies for "aiding and abetting war crimes" in Ukraine.
The complaint was filed by Razom We Stand and Darwin Climax Coalition Thursday with the anti-terror prosecutor's office in Paris.
The climate activists accuse TotalEnergies of using a gas field in Russia, partially exploited by TotalEnergies, to produce fuel for Russian warplanes used in the Ukraine war.
The energy company helped provide the Russian government "with the means necessary to perpetrate war crimes," the lawsuit said.
Until recently, TotalEnergies held a 49% stake in Terneftegaz, which exploits the Termokarstovoye gas field in Siberia. The remaining 51% of the company was owned by the Russian company Novatek, in which TotalEnergies also has a 19.4% stake.
The energy company has denied the accusations made by the climate activists.
In response to a request from Anadolu Agency, press spokesman Gael Baudet said: "We would like to remind you that the unstable condensates produced by Terneftegas which are then stabilized by Novatek in its Purovsky plant, were exported abroad as indicated by Novatek: it is therefore impossible for them to have been used by the Russian army as fuel for its aircraft."
He added: "As for the accusations of 'complicity in a war crime', they are outrageous and defamatory. Words have a meaning and such statements are unacceptable. To be an ‘accomplice to war crimes’ is to provide direct aid to a state or criminal organization that is committing crimes. These accusations are an insult to the integrity of our teams and go against our values."
Baudet further pointed to the phasing out of activities in Russia to the extent that they do not contribute to the continent's energy supply. According to the spokesman, this included the facilities for the production of oil (Charyaga field) and gas for the local Russian market (Termokarstovoye field), which were sold, as well as other local activities (lubricants, batteries), which were suspended.