Transneft says flows will restart on Wednesday after Hungarian energy giant MOL paid transit fees to Ukraine
Transneft, a Russian company responsible for crude supplies to the EU, said on Wednesday it will resume pumping via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline at 16:00 Moscow time (13:00 GMT).
According to RIA Novosti, the payment for the crude transit through the territory of Ukraine was made by Hungary and Slovakia. Ukraine has reportedly confirmed that it received the funds. Hungary's biggest crude refiner MOL said on Wednesday it had transferred the transit fee for the use of the Ukrainian section of the pipeline.
Earlier on Tuesday, MOL confirmed that Russian crude supplies via the southern branch of the pipeline stopped a few days ago, and offered to pay for the transit on behalf of Moscow.
Russia's Transneft announced on Monday that Ukraine had suspended crude flows to parts of central Europe since August 4 because Western sanctions prevented Moscow from making payments for transit. According to Transneft, it made payments for oil transit in August to the Ukrainian pipeline operator on July 22, but the money was returned on July 28 as the payment did not go through.
Druzhba, which is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, carries crude some 4,000km from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Russia normally supplies about 250,000 barrels of oil per day via the southern leg of the route. The suspension of pipeline flows has affected Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
The northern branch of the Druzhba pipeline, which runs through Belarus to Poland and Germany, continues to operate as normal, according to Transneft.
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