Russia to Cut Exports via Estonia
Russia will drastically cut oil product exports via Estonia in the coming month or two, traders said Friday, as the European Commission urged companies to keep to their supply obligations.
One industry source said rail exports to Estonia would be cut by 2 million tons in the next one to two months.
That would be the bulk of trade on the route, which carries 25 million tons per year, one-quarter of the country’s oil products exports.
“Cargo owners are redirecting deliveries to the river, to St. Petersburg,” the source said.
Russian Railways, or RZD, has denied closing the railway route to Estonia.
An RZD spokeswoman said Thursday that traders were assuming wrongly that maintenance on the line — part of planned annual repairs — was a part of a political row between Moscow and Tallinn. Nobody at RZD was available to comment late Friday.
The apparent supply cut coincides with protests in Moscow over Estonia’s relocation of a Soviet war memorial and could revive Western fears of the Kremlin using its energy influence as a political weapon against its former Soviet neighbors.
Russian supplies of gasoline, diesel and fuel oil sent via Estonia, are re-exported to northern Europe.
The European Commission called Friday on Russian firms to meet their obligations to deliver energy supplies to Estonia regardless of technical problems.
read the rest of the Reuters story here on the Railway Market Magazine website