Let the oil flow

Some European countries claim they have been warned by Moscow that it could be forced to cut its transit through Ukraine, but Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister says there will be no disruption in Russia's oil supplies.

On Monday one member of the EU commission said that Russia had notified the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia of possible shortages in supply of Russian oil to these countries during the winter.

According to the source, this could happen because of a “commercial dispute” between Russia and Ukraine. The Ukrainian presidential aide on energy issues, Bogdan Sokolovsky, said last week that Ukraine was not satisfied with how much money Russia paid for the transit of its oil to the European continent.

There have also been differences with the Russian supplier Transneft, which said that the “ship or pay” conditions that Ukraine is trying to propose are unacceptable.

Almost half of the Russian export oil is being delivered to Europe through the Druzhba pipeline, which is one of the largest in the world. It is over 6,000 kilometers long, and delivers up to 75 million tons of oil to the European continent annually. A large part of this pipeline is an integral part of the Ukrainian oil pipe network.

A substantial portion of this oil goes to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia through Ukraine.

After the troubling news came out, all eyes were focused on negotiations between Moscow and Kiev.

But the latest information from Russia’s Energy Ministry suggests that the deal has been regulated. The spokesperson of the Russian Energy Ministry said that the new deal is expected to be signed within the next two days.