World

Russia curtails oil shipments to central Europe


MOSCOW: Several countries in Europe that depend on Russian energy took another blow with Tuesday’s confirmation that oil shipments had stopped through a key pipeline.
Russian state pipeline operator Transneft said it had halted shipments through the southern branch of the Druzhba oil pipeline, which flows through Ukraine to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
Transneft cites complications caused by European Union sanctions for its actions on August 4, saying that its payment to the company’s Ukrainian partner was declined.
The northern section of the Druzhba pipeline, which runs through Belarus to Poland and Germany, is not affected, Transneft reported.
In May, EU leaders agreed to embargo most Russian oil imports by the end of the year as part of the bloc’s sanctions over Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
The embargo covers Russian oil brought in by sea but allows temporary shipments by the Druzhba pipeline to Hungary and several other landlocked countries in Central Europe.
Slovak oil pipeline network operator Transpetrol and oil refiner Slovnaft confirmed that Druzhba’s shipments to the country had ceased operations. Slovakia receives almost all of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline.
Slovnaft, which is owned by Hungarian energy group MOL, said its production was not affected.
Slovnaft spokesman Anton Molnar said the company and MOL are in discussions with Russia and Ukraine an option for MOL, or Slovnaft, to pay the shipping fee.
“The next days will show whether it is another escalation of Russia’s energy war or a technical problem of payment,” said Czech Minister of Industry and Trade. Jozef Sikela speak.
Slovakia’s Economy Minister, Richard Sulik, previously said his country has enough oil reserves for about 120 days.
Russia has also cut natural gas shipments to Europe after most countries refused to comply with the Russian president. Vladimir Putinof wartime orders that require payment in rubles instead of dollars or euros.





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