Russia and Poland are currently conducting negotiations on how the chlorine-contaminated oil is to be discharged from the Druzhba pipeline, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, as cited by TASS. Warsaw wants to know how much Russia will be willing to pay if Poland takes on the task of pumping out part of the substandard oil.
Kozak noted that the matter of cleaning the pipeline has already been resolved with a number of other countries. “Standard oil is already being supplied to Belarusian enterprises, Slovakia and Hungary. As for the final discharge of the pipe on the Belarusian side – the roadmap has been fully agreed on, and its implementation has begun in the city of Polotsk. Appropriate containers are being prepared by Belarus so that the substandard oil can be discharged from the pipe from Poland,” the Russian politician noted.
However, no final agreement has been reached with Poland yet. Moscow and Warsaw are discussing how to clean out the pipe, but there are still “many obstacles” to be overcome in the negotiations, according to Kozak. “Our Polish partners have asked us to give them all the final terms for the future. Whereas with all the other countries – Slovakia, Hungary, Belarus, Ukraine – we have agreed to deal with the technical issues today, to physically discharge the substandard oil from the oil pipe, our Polish colleagues, despite the fact that there was the same constructive dialog at the start, suddenly want to know what discount there will be on this oil, and so on,” the Deputy Prime Minister explained. These details will be discussed at another round of negotiations on Thursday 23 May.
At the start of April this year, the oil being pumped from Russia through the Druzhba pipeline was found to be contaminated with organochlorine compounds, which led to European companies rejecting the Russian oil. The Russian state-owned transport company Transneft has subsequently resumed its supply of clean oil to Belarus, which the pipeline passes through, but there is still contaminated oil in the pipe. According to Reuters, Transneft’s European partners are unwilling to buy oil with organochloride contaminants. It is thus unclear who will ultimately accept the dirty oil when it is discharged from the pipe.