Let ’em freeze: who’s to blame?

If anyone needs to know why several European countries won’t be getting Russian crude oil any longer, they ought to check with Ukraine’s UkrTransNafta, and the European Union.

Who?

UkrTransNafta, an open joint-stock company established by the Ukrainian government in 2001. The company manages oil transportation operations through the Ukrainian pipeline network. It controls two main oil pipeline systems: the Ukrainian section of the Druzhba pipeline, and the Pridniprovski oil pipeline. It is also in charge of the Odessa-Brody pipeline.

And the European Union is what it is: a former economy-based association that has turned into a group that wants to dictate its political views on the rest of the old continent, indeed, the rest of the world.

The irony of it all is overwhelming, and cruel, at the same time: the European Union, helped by a Ukrainian government-sponsored corporation, are trying to punish Russia, while punishing their own people, instead.

What’s up?

Here’s an excerpt from an official announcement, made public through Russia’s TASS news agency:

Transneft has reported that UkrTransNafta suspended the pumping of Russian oil via the southern line of the Druzhba oil pipeline on August 4. Oil was supplied via the southern line of Druzhba to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Meanwhile, the transit through Belarus towards Poland and Germany continues.

“UkrTransNafta suspended providing services on transportation of oil through Ukrainian territory starting August 4, 2022, due to the lack of receipt of monetary funds for services provided. The transit via the northern line of the Druzhba oil pipeline through Belarus towards Poland and Germany is per normal,” the company said.

Supplies were carried out on a prepaid basis. Transneft said it could not pay for transit services due to the European Union’s sanctions. The payment made on July 22 was returned to the company’s account.

“As of now the European banks (correspondents) are no longer authorised to independently decide on the possibility of this or that transaction. To confirm the fact that the transaction is not among those banned it is necessary to obtain a permit from the national authorised state body. The fact that European regulators have not yet articulated a consensus on the algorithm of actions for banks in various jurisdictions, as well as the order of providing such permits, makes things even more complicated,” Transneft added.

The company has asked the authorised bank to transfer the needed information to the European regulator in order to obtain a permit to carry out payments under the agreement with UkrTransNafta. Alternative options for making payments are also being developed.

End of quote.

Igor Demin, spokesman for the President of Transneft, explained the details to RIA Novosti, another Russian news agency.

“Indeed, UkrTransNafta completely stopped pumping oil to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia along the southern branch of Druzhba on August 4 at 06:10 am. At the same time, transit through Belarus in the direction of Poland and Germany continues,” he said.

The Ukrainian company provides transportation services on a 100 per cent prepaid basis. When Transneft tried to pay, their bank returned the funds to their account.

“Gazprombank, which services payments, has notified us that the payment has been returned due to the introduction of EU regulations, that is, the seventh package of sanctions,” a Transneft spokesthingie told RIA Novosti.

The Russian Energy Ministry and domestic shippers supplying fuel to Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, as well as UkrTransNafta itself, are aware of the current situation, he concluded.

At the same time, Transneft said that they were considering payment alternatives. They appealed to Gazprombank for permission from the European regulator to make payments under their agreement with JSC UkrTransNafta.

Druzhba means Friendship

The Druzhba oil pipeline runs from the Samara region, passing through Bryansk, where it branches into northern and southern sections, passing through the territory of Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, and Lithuania. The Ukrainian section is owned by UkrTransNafta, while Russia pays for the transit.

The flow through the pipeline decreased by 13.5 percent in 2019. All told, they pushed 42.3 million tons that year (the Czech Republic got 3.8 million tons, Slovakia received five million tons, and Hungary got 4.1 million.

Transneft cut the levels flowing through Druzhba to 35.9 million tons in 2021.

The flow is expected to increase to 45.5 million tons this year.

The European Union has imposed seven packages of restrictive measures on Russia since her invasion into Ukraine last February.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the so-called policy of containment and weakening of Russia a long-term strategy of the West. He predicted, too, that the sanctions will cause a serious blow to the entire global economy.

Guess what? Just look around.

Still, Putin said, the current events will result in limiting, if not stopping completely, what he called the West’s global political and economic dominance.

As the latest worldwide developments show, Putin seems to be closer to the truth than the West that supports a country that does not deserve its help.

Whether we like it or not, someone’s winning, and it’s not the West.

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