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Russia Cuts Oil Supplies to Poland, Germany and Ukraine

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posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 02:23 PM
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Russian state pipeline operator, Transneft, has cut supplies on the Druzhba pipeline. The world's longest pipeline feeds several former Soviet Republics as well as European countries. The shutdown is the result of an ongoing dispute between Russia and Belarus over the price of oil and gas and transit taxes. Poland and Germany both maintain strategic reserves and are not in immediate danger of shortages but are seeking explanations from the two fighting countries.
 



news.bbc.co.uk
Minsk says Russia has not been paying a transit tax for moving oil through Belarus, imposed after Russia doubled the price it charges Belarus for gas supplies.

Exports were halted after Belarus began legal action against Russia for failure to pay the new oil shipment tax.

Transneft later said it had been forced to cut off supplies through the Druzhba pipeline after Belarus began siphoning off oil as payment in kind for the duties.

The Russian firm has so far refused to pay the oil export taxes as it claims the charges are illegal.

Separately, Azerbaijan has suspended oil exports to Russia following a pricing dispute with Russian state-backed oil giant Gazprom.

BBC economics correspondent Andrew Walker says the suspension is an uncomfortable reminder to Europe of the large and growing role that Russia has in meeting its energy needs.

"This shows us once again that arguments among various countries of the former Soviet Union, between suppliers and transit countries, mean that these deliveries are unreliable,"

The European Union is set to discuss energy supply issues as part of a meeting on climate change and energy policy scheduled for Wednesday.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Price and transit taxes asside, what strikes me is the timing of this move by Russia, just two days before new talks on energy issues with Europe. The EU has been trying to get Russia to sign onto an Energy Charter Treaty for several years but Russia is holding out.


Putin firm on EU energy charter

The aim is to make it easier for European companies to invest in the Russian energy sector, and to use Russian pipelines to export the oil and gas they produce.

The pact would also be designed to ensure that Russia treated all European countries equally, and to lay the basis for a long-term trade partnership.

Russia supplies a quarter of the oil and gas consumed in the EU, and the proportion is set to rise sharply in coming decades.


The talks are set to begin on Wednesday and this action (again, tax issues asside) serves as a timely reminder of Europe's dependence on Russian supplies.

Poland and Germany have up to 80 days of reserves but no word on the other countries affected: Ukraine, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary.
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[edit on 1/8/2007 by Gools]




posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 06:16 PM
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Well thats one way to play hardball for sure. While 80 days of reserves seem like alot, it will still spark panic and hording etc esp. since we are in the winter months and consumption is high.

Russian oil/energy companies are owned and controlled by the government period. This could be political in nature with Russia sending message about the hard stance being taken in Iran



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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Don't you just LOVE trade wars?

The Russians piss me off sometimes, they think they can bully any one they want, and I know as an American I am not one to talk, but they like us pick on the little guys all the time. I am glad to see the little man kick back at the giant and his arrogant ways.

The fact that they began stealing oil from the pipeline is absolutly fascinating to me. They stole Russias oil! .. The government has balls thats all I can say. When Georgia crossed Russia they waited till it was 20 below and BLEW UP the pipeline into Georgia to freeze her people. That was last year. I would expect some unfortunate events to occure in this country this year.

Also, if Russia does not deliver on her oil obligations regardless if another state stole it from her, she will void the contracts and actually owe money to the states in question for not fulfilling their obligations. Go Russia. Bet Putin is PISSED.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:07 PM
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I kind of agree with what Belarus is doing -- since Russia drastically raised prices on their gas, I think it's right that they ask for a fee to allow gas to be transferred across their territory to other countries.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:19 PM
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Originally posted by FredT


Russian oil/energy companies are owned and controlled by the government period. This could be political in nature with Russia sending message about the hard stance being taken in Iran


They passed sanctions so there goes that theory.

Anyway...I think what Belarus is doing is fine, considering like another poster said, they raised their gas prices (which is only fair considering it is theirs). But Belarus can also tax the gas going through their country.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:20 PM
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Thanks for this post. We've experienced this in Hungary too. We were the last ones, whose got from the oil. Then reserves. Open the reserves, which will be enough for 100 days. Half of the European Union is depending from this oil. And they're cutting it from app. 6 additional countries, because they have some childish conflicts with the Belarus. Yeah. Sure. I don't buy this.

What we've learned from our Prime Minister, 99% of the politicians are liars. And our PM, Mr. Gyurcsany is the best in this.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:22 PM
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Did you know based on some calculations done before Russia could invade the United States in 3 days. Their technology is more adv. they have subs that could reach the shores quickly, by invasion i think it was to have their troops here in washington(not sure i watched a video about it a couple weeks ago.)



[edit on 8-1-2007 by zeta]



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by zeta
Did you know based on some calculations done before Russia could invade the United States in 3 days.


Sure they could


We would just have to get on our rafts and throw spears at their big scawwwwy weapons if they did this.



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by zeta
Did you know based on some calculations done before Russia could invade the United States in 3 days.


I seriously doubt that, but anyway what on Earth does that have to do with this thread's topic Russia Cuts Oil Supplies to Poland, Germany and Ukraine?



posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 09:11 PM
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Well it is interesting to note some similarities between this and Red Storm Rising. In the book the Soviet Union has an oil crisis caused by the destruction of it's largest refinery and is forced to invade Western Europe in order to eliminate forces that would be defending against their invasion of the Middle East. Although invasion is unlikely to happen, it is just a good example of how when you cut of the oil supply you can expect some pretty extreme measures.



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