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Russia’s War Casts Huge Shadow Over the Future of ESG

A placard outside the Russian embassy in London on Feb. 28. 

A placard outside the Russian embassy in London on Feb. 28. 

Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

How can fund managers buy Russian government bonds and shares of state-backed energy giants while claiming to be committed to the highest environmental, social and governance principles?

Arguably they can’t, given the death and destruction now wrought by the Kremlin’s military on a daily basis. With lots of U.S. dollars and euros invested in Russia when the war began, it’s a question increasingly being asked by investors, companies and the financial industry as a whole.