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Russia may reduce Slovak oil supply

SLOVAKIA may have problems with oil supplies as Russian plans to export 40 percent less oil to Slovakia in the last quarter of this year. Instead of the 1.5 million tonnes agreed to in the bilateral Slovak-Russian treaty, only 960,000 tonnes would be allocated to Slovakia, the Trend weekly reported .

Trend got the information from the Hungarian press agency MTI, which sourced its story from Moscow oil traders.

According to the SME daily, the change is because at the present time the state gets its oil from Yukos. The plan by Russia to lower the amount of oil it supplies to Slovakia, is probably aimed at getting Slovak oil refinery Slovnaft to obtain its oil via third-party companies, as was common in the mid-1990s.

This would mean, according to the daily, that the Slovak oil refinery would buy oil through Cyprus-based oil companies owned by a Ukrainian entrepreneur with close links to the Kremlin.

“It seems that the energy lobby is strong in Kremlin. A certain interest group is trying to block the entry of foreign capital and distribute the profits among the political elite and their friends,” said Ján Tóth, the chief economist with ING Bank.

Slovnaft is, however, yet to receive an official schedule of oil supplies for the last quarter.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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