Russian oil flow stops to 3 EU countries

Authorities in Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic confirmed on Tuesday that Russian oil deliveries from a critical pipeline stopped on Thursday. The three countries, which rely heavily on Russian oil to fuel their economies, are exempted from a European Union decision to start banning imports of Russian oil later this year.

The dispute centers on the southern leg of a Cold War-era pipeline that carries crude oil some 2,500 miles from the Urals to Central Europe. [via Ukraine]

Transneft, the state-owned operator of the Russian portion of the pipeline, pays transit fees to its Ukrainian counterpart, UkrTransNafta, for the oil to pass through that country. But on Tuesday, Transneft said its July payment had been returned, and it blamed issues related to European sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Transneft said UkrTransNafta had then halted oil flows to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

As of January, it estimated, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were receiving about 250,000 barrels a day from Russia through the pipeline.

Germany and Poland, at the northern end of the pipeline, were not affected by the interruption, Transneft said.…


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How Putin chooses to use Russia’s “Energy Weapon”, and how Europe and NAYO then cope and respond, are the main unanswered questions of the Ukraine War. We may be beginning to see answers, and those answers will determine the outcome.

This looks like it could be the beginning of a major testing drama. I would be amazed if Putin has not counted every card and planned his finessing carefully, and I will be stunned if the European countries have done more than very preliminary discussions of how to cope.

The issue of whether to

freeze in the dark (while being amused by hapless rationing…)
or to do something else
(e.g. consolidation of heated housing for work-critical workers in efficient “dormitories” combined with massive movement of non-work-critial people out of Poland, Germany and other threatened northern climes to temporary housing in often empty winter summer vacation spaces on the Mediterranean)


(I Hit send too soon but letting it stand and this is part 2)

Just stating a reasoned if not reasonable plan makes clear how fraught and difficult this likely will be. Can Europe cope with this, really, and take the type of actions that could conceivably convince Putin to “think again?”

All this depends on Russia being able to maintain pressure on Ukraine into next winter rather than Ukraine reversing the tide…which would be a very thin reed to rely upon.

david fb

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I am going to celebrate Hungary being shut off by Russia. The little man who is in love with Putin can explain why? He is abysmal. The Hungarians can cut out their mindless crap.