Shipments of diesel fuel from Russia to Ukraine will more or less halve in August, said Andriy Herus, the Ukrainian president’s representative to the Cabinet of Ministers, in a press conference on Tuesday.
“The amount coming through the pipeline will decline from around 200,000 to 100,000 tons,” Herus noted.
This is related to the increased tariffs on piped diesel. As of August 1, diesel fuel imported from Russia by pipeline has been subject to a special tariff of 3.75% of its customs value. On October 1, the tariff will go up to 4%.
Herus expressed confidence that other sources would be found to replace the missing quantities from Russia, and that there will be no deficit in the country. Ukraine will request more diesel from Belarus’s Mozyr refinery and also from Lithuania and other EU countries. A moderate increase in Ukraine’s domestic production will also help to offset the shortfall.
“And so in August we are seeing immense resources from Belarus, by sea, and from EU countries. These resources, together with the reserve, will compensate for the reduced diesel supply from Russia. In September there will be even more shipments by sea, there will be shipments from the Mozyr refinery on the same level as August. In other words, we expect the next three months to be absolutely stable. In October, the seasonal demand will decline,” the presidential representative explained.
According to Herus’s prediction, the reduced supply from Russia will cause the proportion of Russian diesel on the Ukrainian market to drop from 45% to 25% in August and to 10-15% in September.
Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan, who also took part in the press conference, joked that the situation would not affect the journalists from the TV channels NewsOne, 112 and ZIK. These channels are controlled by the Ukrainian oligarch and MP Viktor Medvedchuk, who is also linked to PrykarpatZapadTrans, the company that operates the Ukrainian stretch of the Samara-Western Direction oil product pipeline.
Since 2016, the company has been owned by the Switzerland-based company International Trading Partners AG, which in turn is owned by the German citizen Anatoly Schaefer. According to the web-based corruption investigators from Nashi Groshi (“Our Money”), Schaefer is closely linked to Medvechuk. Numerous opposition politicians, including Ihor Lutsenko and Serhiy Leshchenko, have written about the fact that PrykarpatZapadTrans is now controlled by Medvedchuk.