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Slovnaft asks ministry for help

CONCERNS about possible cuts in oil supplies forced Hungarian/Slovak oil refinery Slovnaft to ask the Economy Ministry for help, the Hospodárske noviny business daily reported.

"Slovnaft has asked us for cooperation. We have already sent a letter to the energy ministry in Moscow" Peter Papanek, advisor to temporary Economy Minister Ivan Mikloš told the daily. In the letter the Slovak economy ministry asks Russia to abide by its commitments and quotas agreed in the Slovak-Russian treaty on oil supply.

On September 22, the weekly Trend reported that Slovakia may have problems with oil supplies as Russia plans to export 40 percent less in the last quarter of this year. Instead of the agreed 1.5 million tonnes, only 960,000 tonnes would be allocated to Slovakia. Trend got the information from the Hungarian press agency MTI, which sourced its story from Moscow oil traders.

According to the daily SME in a report on September 22, the plan by Russia to decrease 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. At present Slovakia gets its oil from Yukos.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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