France’s Total Backs Sanctions on Myanmar Oil and Gas Revenues
21 January 2022
The French energy giant TotalEnergies has signaled its support for targeted sanctions on Myanmar’s oil and gas industry, the largest single source of income for the country’s military administration. In a letter to Human Rights Watch (HRW) that was made public by the U.S.-based rights group yesterday, the Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné said the company was doing everything it could to avoid funding the junta that seized power in February of last year.
Pouyanné said that the company had spoken with French and U.S. authorities concerning the implementation of targeted sanctions on Myanmar’s gas revenues and said Total “will not only comply with any sanction decision from the European or American authorities but also supports the implementation of such targeted sanctions.”
Pouyanné’s January 18 letter to HRW stated that Total had formally asked the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put in place sanctions that would create “a legal framework to respond to calls requesting us to stop the financial flows” to MOGE.
Total’s policy shift marks a major breakthrough for the activists and those who have sought to choke off Myanmar’s oil and gas revenues. [...]