The destination station of the Druzhba pipeline at the East German PCK refinery in Schwedt in a picture taken on January 10, 2007.
Moscow – Russia has started delivering oil from Kazakhstan via the Druzhba pipeline through Poland to Germany. According to Russian press agencies, this was announced by the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft. Supplies to Poland are stopped, the flow of oil to Slovakia and the Czech Republic through the southern branch of the pipeline continues without interruption, Reuters reported.
Kazakh oil pipeline operator KazTransOil said today that it has shipped 20,000 tons of oil to Germany via the Russian Druzhba pipeline. Since December 5, the European Union has banned the import of oil from Russia by sea, but it is still taking it by pipeline – mainly so that the landlocked EU states also have oil. Landlocked Kazakhstan is heavily dependent on neighboring Russia for the export of energy raw materials and is not subject to Western sanctions.
The TASS news agency quoted Transneft as saying that the formalities for oil deliveries to Poland in the second half of February had not been completed. Polish customers were therefore cut off from oil supplies from Russia.
“(Oil) was supposed to be pumped to Polish refineries in the second half of February,” a Transnefti spokeswoman said. “However, routing orders with confirmed source and transit payment have not been executed,” she added.
Poland's PKN Orlen refinery said on Saturday that Russia had halted supplies and would fill the shortfall from other sources. Activists and the opposition criticized the Polish government for allowing the state-controlled refinery to continue buying Russian oil. Warsaw is a key ally of Kiev, and soon after Russia's invasion of Ukraine at the end of last February, it pledged to stop supplies from Russia by the end of 2022.
The Druzhba pipeline runs from Russia to Belarus, where it splits into two branches. The northern one leads to Poland and Germany, the southern one through Ukraine to Hungary. Still on Ukrainian territory, however, the southern branch continues to split and the oil flows separately to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The oil supplies of the southern branches were exempted from the sanctions that the EU imposed on Russia for attacking Ukraine.
Germany was in the past the largest European buyer of Russian oil. After the invasion of the Russian troops in Ukraine, Germany began to reduce its dependence, and supplies from Russia should be partly compensated by oil from Kazakhstan.