WARSAW (Reuters) – Oil supplies to Poland and Germany through Russia’s Druzhba pipeline were halted overnight but the cause was unknown, Polish officials said on Monday.
“Oil supplies via the Druzhba pipeline to Poland and Germany were halted overnight. We sent a letter to Belarus asking for explanations. At this point we do not know the reason why the supplies were stopped,” said Tomasz Zakrzewski, a spokesman for the Polish pipeline operator PERN.
The Polish economy ministry said that there were some problems with oil supplies through the Russian Druzhba (‘Friendship’) pipeline.
Polish private television TVN24 reported earlier that the problems were related to a recent energy pricing dispute between Russia and Belarus.
“There are problems with oil supplies through the pipeline to Poland,” said an economy ministry official.
The Druzhba pipeline to Central Europe is one of the world’s biggest by capacity and length. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter and supplies around a fifth of Germany’s needs.
On Thursday the Kremlin said that Russia had received official notification that Belarus had imposed a transit duty on its oil exports, but said it did not expect an escalating trade row to disrupt crude shipments to Europe.
The Druzhba pipeline splits into two spurs with the bigger one, the northern leg, going to Poland and to Germany.