Offshore oil rig oil platform
Offshore oil rig oil platformISTOCK

A new study from a group of NGOs found that nine U.S. and European energy corporations have paid $15.8 billion in taxes and fees to Russia since it annexed Crimea in 2014, CNN reported.

The research, conducted by Global Witness, Greenpeace USA and Oil Change International using data from energy research think tank Rystad Energy, took a look at how much money North American and European oil and gas firms with operations in Russia had sent to Russia in taxes and fees since 2014.

The report was written in the wake of criticism that the U.S.’s purchase of Russia oil and gas was helping to fund its invasion of Ukraine.

The researchers found that taxes, fees, royalties, export duties, and bonuses amounted to $15.8 billion since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Their report found that nine Western corporations had made the bulk of the payments, which were all legal.

Shell, a British corporation, paid the most at $7.85 billion. This was followed by American company ExxonMobil at $2.81 billion. In third place were German firms Wintershall and Wintershall DEA, which have since merged, at $2.86 billion.

"The true amount that these companies are responsible for paying to Russia is much closer to the $100 billion mark, but it is obscured by their stakes in Russian companies,” Global’s Witness’s Murray Worthy told CNN. “We believe that BP alone are responsible for $78.4 billion going to the Russian government through the stake in the oil and gas giant Rosneft it says it held until just a few weeks ago.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)