Lithuania should abandon the hope that Russia will reopen crude oil supplies through the pipeline Druzhba to the Mazeikiai oil refinery. A month ago, during a meeting with the Russian delegation in Vilnius, the Lithuanian Government officials suggested financing the pipeline’s repairs. However, the proposition fell on deaf Russian ears, Lietuvos Rytas wrote on 17 August.
According to the article, the Russians informed the Lithuanian delegation, led by the Deputy Economy Minister Daumantas Lapinskas, that the Unecha-Polotsk branch of the pipeline was of a limited throughput capacity, hence there were no technical possibilities of its repair.
According to Lietuvos Rytas, Belarusians have recently informed the Lithuanian Ministry of Energy that the pipeline Druzhba is in a good technical condition and fits for oil supply to Lithuania. Nevertheless, Russia stopped pumping oil through the pipeline via Belarus to Mazeikiu Nafta (which is now called Orlen Lietuva) in July 2006, after Lithuanians sold the oil refinery to Polish PKN Orlen.
The official explanation of the crude oil pumping stop was a need to repair the pipe. The paper also notes that current Russian ambassador to Lithuania Vladimir Cchikhvadze declared that the pipe could be repaired if Lithuanians would agree to contribute with a few dozen millions US dollars.