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MOSCOW: Russian oil company Lukoil announced Thursday it had acquired a Shell subsidiary that operates retail stations in the country, as Western firms continue to leave in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.

Russia’s second-largest oil producer did not disclose the details of the acquisition of Shell Neft.

“Under this deal, more than 350 people currently employed by Shell Neft will transfer to the new owner of this business,” Huibert Vigeveno, Shell’s downstream director, was quoted as saying in a statement released by Lukoil.

Shell Neft’s assets include 411 retail stations, primarily located in central and northwestern Russia.

The London-listed energy major announced in late February that it would sell its stakes in all joint ventures with Russian state energy giant Gazprom after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine.

The group said at the time that the ventures were worth about $3 billion.

The British energy giant then announced in March that it would withdraw from Russian gas and oil in line with UK government policy, and also immediately stopped purchases of its crude.

Britain is taking part in an international effort to punish Russia with asset freezes, travel bans and sanctions over Moscow’s military campaign in the pro-Western country.

A slew of Western businesses ranging from retailers to financial firms have halted operations in Russia since Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in late February.

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