07MOSCOW66, RUSSIAN ENERGY: UPDATE ON BELARUS-RUSSIA OIL ROW

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW66 2007-01-11 12:25 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO5480
OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHMO #0066 0111225
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 111225Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6291
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS MOSCOW 000066 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/RUS WARLICK, HOLMAN, AND GUHA 
DEPT FOR EB/ESC/IEC GALLOGLY AND GARVERICK 
DOE FOR HARBERT/EKIMOFF/PISCITELLI 
DOC FOR 4231/IEP/EUR/JBROUGHER 
NSC FOR GRAHAM AND MCKIBBEN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EPET ENRG ECON PREL RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN ENERGY: UPDATE ON BELARUS-RUSSIA OIL ROW 
 
REF: MOSCOW 57 
 
PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY; NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION 
 
1. (SBU) On January 11, Econoff spoke to Shawn McCormick 
(please protect), head of government relations at TNK-BP, who 
confirmed press reports that Russian crude is flowing again 
through Belarus along the Druzhba pipeline and his company 
was sending their "normal" volumes through and was not 
required to cut back on production.  McCormick believed that 
other Russian shippers were also operating at full capacity. 
When asked whether the GOR had authorized Transneft to send 
only enough oil for European consumption -- in other words 
sending none for Belarus's domestic use -- McCormick said 
that he was not aware of any restrictions on sending oil to 
Belarus for its own use.  TNK-BP's oil trading department 
indicated that it appears that the "crisis has been averted." 
 According to press reports, Belarusian Prime Minister 
Sidorsky is in Moscow for discussions with Russian Prime 
Minister Fradkov in an effort to reach an agreement ending 
the impasse.  The talks are expected to last through tomorrow. 
 
2. (SBU) For its part, the Russian Duma has been most 
concerned about the future of Russia's union with Belarus. 
Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov was quoted in the press as saying 
that Belarus's actions were not helpful to the creation of a 
union.  In an Echo Moskvy radio interview on January 10, Duma 
Vice Speaker Oleg Morozov expressed the fear that Belarus's 
actions, for which he blamed Lukashenko, had taken Russia and 
Belarus away from forming a union.  He continued that he 
hoped Belarus had learned its lesson and that it would now be 
more inclined to agree to a single ruble and customs zone. 
The Duma is planning on holding a "government hour" meeting 
with Economy Minister German Gref on January 17 to discuss 
the progress of the talks.  A proposal by Rodina Duma Deputy 
Sergey Baburin proposed joint parliamentary hearings on the 
situation but the measure did not pass. 
RUSSELL

Wikileaks

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