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Flow Of Russian Oil To Czech Republic Resumes, Pipeline Operator Says

August 13, 2022

Russian oil flows to the Czech Republic through the Druzhba pipeline resumed on August 12 after more than a week, Czech pipeline operator MERO said.

Oil supplies through the pipeline were suspended on August 4 to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. Russian pipeline monopoly Transneft said the reason was Western sanctions prevented paying transit fees to Ukrainian transit company Ukrtransnafta.

"Supplies of Russian oil through the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline on the Czech territory resumed at 8 p.m. today," MERO said in a statement.

Czech refiner Unipetrol confirmed its refineries again started receiving oil through Druzhba, and added that the weeklong outage had not affected its operations.

Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela said earlier that the resumption followed a resolution of the issue with fees.

A European bank agreed to process the payment for the transit, removing the cause of the stoppage.

Flows to Hungary and Slovakia were restarted on August 10 after Hungarian refiner MOL and its Slovak unit Slovnaft found a workaround by paying the fee to Ukrtransnafta themselves.

Central European countries are partially dependent on Russian oil and have secured exemptions from the European Union's incoming ban on imports until they adjust their shipping routes and refineries so that they can receive oil from other sources.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

Source: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-oil- czech-druzhba/31986234.html

Copyright (c) 2022. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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