Putting on the squeeze

BERLIN: Russia has further reduced its oil deliveries to the Czech Republic, bringing total July cutbacks to 50 percent, senior Czech officials said Wednesday, a disruption that is again calling into question Russia’s reliability as an energy supplier to Central and Eastern Europe.

Supplies were reduced about 40 percent early in the month. A further cut in the past few days reduced the flow to half its pre-July level, officials said.

Russia’s oil pipeline monopoly, Transneft, has declined to give any indication of when full operations will resume through the Druzhba, or Friendship, Pipeline, said the Czech officials, who included Vaclav Bartuska, ambassador at large for energy security.

[ . . . ]

“The fact that we are not being told the real reasons for the disruption and expect reductions to be increased by more than 50 percent for the month of August shows the lack of transparency in the way the system works,” he said.

Russia further cuts its oil deliveries to Czech Republic,” Judy Dempsey, International Herald Tribune, 30 July, 2008.

The punishment continues.

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