Czech ministry says Russia reduces oil supplies to Czech Republic

Other News Materials 11 July 2008 23:05 (UTC +04:00)

Russia has recently reduced its oil supply to the Czech Republic, Czech Industry and Trade Ministry said Friday.

Spokesman Tomas Bartovsky said it was not immediately clear what has caused the decline in the transit of Russian crude oil via the Druzhba, or Friendship, pipeline. He was not able to provide any details or figures. He said that similar problems occurred in past few years, also in summer.

"Refineries informed us about a reduction in deliveries," Bartovsky said.

This week, Czech-Russian relations suffered after U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg signed a deal to deploy a radar system near Prague as part of a U.S. global missile shield. Russia has vehemently opposed the deal and threatened with a military response if it is ratified by Czech parliament.

Trade Minister Martin Riman said the current reduction presented no immediate threat to Czech oil supplies since the country has supplies for some 95 days.

The country's main refiner, Unipetrol, said it was informed Thursday the problem was caused by technical problems on the Russian side, spokeswoman Dana Dvorakova said.

The Czech Republic gets most of its oil from the Russian pipeline, while receiving the rest from another pipeline from Germany's Ingolstadt, or IKL.

Czech officials said the pipeline from Germany has a capacity to secure the country's oil need, AP reported.