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News // Russia

Belarus Tapped Russian Fuel As Ukraine Did Last Year

09 January 2007 , 09:28472
Belarus is siphoning off Russian oil designated for Europe from the Druzhba pipeline going through Belarus.

From Jan 6, Belarus began tapping oil destined only for customers in Western Europe from the Druzhba pipeline unilaterally, without any warning,' Semyon Vainshtok, the head of Transneft, said.

He said Belarus siphoned off 900 tonnes of oil in the past 24 hours alone. 'In all, 79,000 tonnes of oil has been tapped since January 6,' he said.

Russia doubled the gas price for Belarus to $100 per 1,000 cu m from Jan 1, and also imposed an oil export duty of $180.7 per tonne for the 10-million nation.

Belarus responded Jan 3 by introducing a transit duty of $45 per tonne of Russian oil.

The situation with Belarus resembles the energy crisis early last year when Russia, which supplies more than 25 percent of the EU's oil and natural gas, suspended gas exports to Ukraine amid a gas price row, affecting consumers in Western Europe.

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