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Polish group says Russia stopped oil pipeline deliveries

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Polish group says Russia stopped oil pipeline deliveries

Polish energy group PKN Orlen announced on Saturday that it had stopped receiving Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline, which under its last contract accounted for 10 percent of Orlen’s needs.

“Deliveries through the Druzhba pipeline towards Poland were stopped by the Russian side,” the Polish company said in a statement to AFP.

Polish group says Russia stopped oil pipeline deliveries

Orlen said the move would not impact supply to Polish clients and that all oil deliveries would now come by sea.

Until now, PKN Orlen had imported about 10 percent of its oil needs through the pipeline from Russia and the rest from other countries through maritime routes.

The move comes a day after the European Union agreed on a new round of sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Poland said earlier this month it was still buying 10 percent of its oil supplies from Russia, despite its insistence on stronger sanctions on Russian oil.

Poland had declared last year it had a “radical plan” to stop all Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.

But deputy minister for state assets Maciej Malecki told parliament that Poland still has a valid contract with a Russian company Tatneft.

That meant Poland was still buying 200,000 tonnes of oil from Russia each month.

According to Malecki, Orlen — a state company — “strongly declared that it would stop buying Russian oil as soon as an EU embargo is introduced”.

Malecki said that the current contract with Tatneft could not be terminated as it would force Warsaw to pay compensation fees to the Russian firm.

Over recent years, Poland has largely diversified its oil and gas supplies, and according to Malecki, the deal with Tatneft was the “only” energy contract with Russia.

The Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline network was started in the 1960s, pumping oil from the Urals to Europe through a northern branch via Poland and a southern branch via Ukraine.

sw/fb/jm

AFP

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