Belarus to ‘Temporary’ Close Oil Pipeline to EU, Cites Maintenance Work

Photo credit: Sputnik

A branch of the transcontinental ‘Friendship’ pipeline carrying oil supplies from Russia through Belarus to a number of EU states will be closed in the next three days due to necessary “unscheduled repairs” the operator claims are needed, suggesting supplies could face short-term disruption.

The pipeline enables oil deliveries to Belarusian oil refineries and oil transit to Europe.

Russian energy export giant Transneft’s spokesman Igor Demin said in a statement on Wednesday that the impromptu repair work the Belarusian operator, Gomeltransneft Druzhba, reportedly began on Tuesday evening on the branch pumping in the direction of Adamowo-Zastawa, Poland should be finished by the weekend.

Demin also insisted Transneft hopes to ensure its delivery quotas are met since monthly export volumes shouldn’t be affected by the currently decreased supplies.

The pipeline connects oil fields in Samara Oblast, Central Russia, goes through Bryansk, and splits into two branches: the northern and the southern branch that goes through Ukraine, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania.

The unscheduled decrease in oil supplies happens days after Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko warned that due to the worsening illegal migration row on the border with Poland, his country could cut off gas to Central and Western Europe.

The EU has previously accused Minsk of deliberately worsening the migrant crisis in retribution for sanctions levied against its government, which Belarus denied, claiming that it’s simply no longer able to stop the migrants to reach the border and their attempts to cross to Poland.

He stressed that European leaders should remember that Minsk could “cut off” energy supplies from Siberia to the EU states through the Yamal-Europe pipeline when considering potential future sanctions against Belarus.

Thousands of refugees have set up camps along the frontier, with Minsk putting on flights from troubled nations like Syria and Iraq, and encouraging desperate people to try to cross over.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.