Russian oil continues to flow to Belarus and via Belarus to the European Union despite a failure by Moscow and Minsk to clinch a new oil-supply deal at talks on January 9, a Russian Energy Ministry spokeswoman said today.
Belarus and Russia will renew attempts on January 9 to settle a dispute over oil pricing that has raised concerns of potential supply cuts to Europe and helped push crude prices to a 15-month high this week.
Two days of talks between Russia and Belarus on resolving a dispute over oil have ended with no result, according to both sides.
Russians and others are marking the Eastern Rite Christmas today, with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill leading Russian Orthodox Mass at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
Ukraine paid in full and on time its last monthly bill of 2009 for Russian gas, state energy firm Naftogaz has said, referring to the steepest payment it had to make for that year worth almost $900 million.
Negotiations between Russia and Belarus over the supply of Russian oil for 2010 have broken down after talks in Moscow, Belarus state news agency BelTA reported, quoting an unnamed source in the Belarusian delegation.
A Kaliningrad-Moscow passenger train was stopped at the Orsha train station in Belarus due to a bomb scare.
An adviser to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says Kyiv hopes Russia and Belarus quickly resolve their oil dispute, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.
A dispute between Russia and Belarus over the price of oil threatens to disrupt supplies to Europe after reports said Moscow has begun cutting supplies to its former Soviet neighbor.
The price of oil has risen today, the first trading day of the new year, following Russia's reported decision to halt the flow of crude supplies to Belarusian refineries over a pricing dispute.
Russia has halted oil flows to Belarusian refineries after failing to agree terms for 2010, but rising tensions have not so far affected the transit of Russian oil to the European Union, traders said today.
Russia has no plans to cut oil supplies to Belarus from today despite failing to agree terms of 2010 deliveries, a Russian government source said, adding that talks would resume in early January.