Poland, Czechia and Germany have suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality, Reuters reports.
“The halting of imports from the Druzhba pipeline could starve European refineries belonging to Poland’s PKN Orlen and Grupa Lotos as well as German plants belonging to Total, Shell, Eni and Rosneft of most of their crude intake. The suspension could trigger legal claims by Western buyers against Russian suppliers, who would in turn seek compensation from Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft, three traders with Western oil buyers said,” the article reads.
As reported earlier, the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline, which takes the ‘black gold’ from Russia to Belarus, has been blocked for at least 8 days, the reason being a chemical agent harmful for the pipe equipment. According to the Belarusian side, its refineries have reduced production by half, since they cannot use the pipeline that received organochloride in large quantities. This agent contaminated the pipe at a length of 1,400 kilometers, the officials claimed. Moreover, poor-quality Russian oil damaged expensive equipment at the Mazyr refinery; it even had to be dismantled.
In such conditions, Belarus has suspended exports of oil products only to have enough for the domestic market. All this is happening with the tax maneuver in place, which increases the cost of Russian oil to Belarus, and the modernization of both refineries, which was to end in November.