INVESTMENTS into two Russian companies from the Essex Pension Fund “remain under review”, Essex County Council has said.

An Essex Pension Fund spokesperson said it has “very limited exposure” to Russian Investments -PAO Severstal and X5 Retail Group.

The investments make up 0.001 per cent of the total pension fund which is valued at about £8.7 billion.

The two companies are not linked to the Russian government, a spokesman said.

“The fund and its investment advisers continue to monitor the situation closely,” he added.

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A spokesman added: “Essex County Council has already been public in its condemnation of the Russian Government’s illegal reinvasion of Ukraine and while we are aware of a minor investment by the Essex Pension Fund into two companies we are not aware of any connections with the Putin regime.

“The position regarding these investments remains under review and appropriate action will be taken.”

The crisis comes just weeks after the Essex Pension Fund was told it should be directed toward more sustainable net carbon opportunities as it commits to a raft of climate change recommendations.