Part of the Druzhba oil-pipeline system in Plock, Poland (epa)
January 9, 2007 -- The European Union's executive commission said today the impact of the oil dispute between Russia and Belarus has spread to several Central and Western European countries.
The European Commission said refineries in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all been affected by a halt in Russian oil supplies through the Druzhba pipeline in Belarus.
Commission spokesman Ferran Tarradellas Espuny said it was "unacceptable" the EU had not been informed of the suspension.
"The commission has underlined that it is unacceptable that energy suppliers or transit countries do not inform their counterparts of any decision that may affect their supplies," Espuny said. "[EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs] has called [on] the two parties involved to rapidly find a mutually acceptable solution and to restore oil supplies to the European Union immediately."
The European Commission has called an "urgent" meeting of EU oil supply officials on January 11 to discuss the situation.
Russia and Belarus blame each other for provoking the halt in oil supplies, which came after the two countries imposed punitive oil levies against each other.
A top-level Belarusian government delegation is in Moscow today for talks to resolve the dispute.
(compiled from agency reports)