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EU Says Impact Of Russia-Belarus Oil Dispute Spreading

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)

Prague Energy Forum, October 23-24

Prague Energy Forum, October 23-24

An oil refinery in Western Siberia (TASS)

STABILITY AND SECURITY: On October 23-24, RFE/RL and the Warsaw-based Economic forum cosponsored the Prague Energy Forum at RFE/RL's Prague broadcasting center. The Energy Forum brought together nearly 100 experts and policymakers from Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East to discuss key issues of energy supply and security in the years to come.

HIGHLIGHTS: RFE/RL presents some of the key presentations from the Energy Forum and interviews with some participants:

Czech Premier Urges Reduced Energy Dependence On Russia

Interview: Nature A Bigger Threat To Security Than Terrorism

Russia Can Boost Security Through Transparency

Interview: Russian Expert Addresses Europe's Security Concerns

U.S. Official Outlines Concerns About Iran's Nuclear Program

Iranian, Western Experts Spar Over Tehran's Nuclear Ambitions

Experts Ponder Future 'Gas Wars'

Former U.S. Ambassador Says Kyiv Can Cope With Gas Price Rise

Interview: Tbilisi Bent On Energy Independence

MORE: Click on the image to see the conference program, participant list, and other materials.