Members of the Slovak Security Council on Monday, December 28 discussed the possibility of Russian oil supplies being suspended, the TASR newswire reported.
The Government Office stated that a risk is posed by unresolved problems between Russia and Ukraine in terms of the transport of oil. The meeting was initiated by a letter from the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy and Transport stating that Russia, in line with an early-warning system, has announced the possibility of oil supplies to Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic being suspended.
Russian oil-transport monopoly Transneft on the same day accused Ukrainian politicians of introducing new “unacceptable” conditions for the transport of oil via the port of Yuzhny. The company said that it will suspend supplies if agreement is not reached soon. Ukraine is demanding higher fees for oil transit and guarantees vis-a-vis the minimum volume of oil transported. Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev said that negotiations are underway and that he hopes to reach agreement before the end of the year.
Slovakia will get through the winter without problems even if Russian oil supplies are suspended because it has sufficient reserves of this commodity, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after the meeting of the Slovak Security Council.
Fico said that Slovakia can function without problems for three months without any further oil supplies. The Economy Ministry crisis headquarters has recommended that Slovak refinery Slovnaft should contract for oil supplies other than those from the Russian Druzhba pipeline. Such supplies could reach Slovakia within 25-30 days.
Slovakia and other EU countries are reliant on Russia and Ukraine for the supply and transport of oil and gas. Fico said there is information that three out of the four disputed issues have already been resolved and that the fourth one is being negotiated.
Slovak refinery Slovnaft is able to provide the Slovak market with oil even if Russian supplies via Ukraine are suspended, TASR was told by Slovnaft spokesman Anton Molnár. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
29. Dec 2009 at 14:00