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A few days ago we reported that the Ukraine decided to call Russia’s “trump card” bluff – that would be everyone else’s reliance on Russian gas supplies – when it drastically cut imports of Russian gas by 80% in February, seemingly to demonstrate its energy independence from Puting. Now Russia has decided to take the Ukraine to task, by announcing it has halted oil deliveries to the Ukraine Odessa refinery. Hopefully the Ukraine, whose foreign currency reserves tumbled from $17.9 billion on February 1 to $15 billion currently, has alternative means of supplying itself with energy from benevolent sources, particularly those who are willing to provide the country with oil in exchange for goodwill.
Russia’s oil company LUKOIL has stopped oil supplies to the Odessa refinery in Ukraine.
“The last tanker was sent on December 29,” a company official said on Wednesday, February 26.
Ukrainian media reports said earlier in the day that police had sealed oil tanks at the Kherson refinery. Oilnews quoted eye witnesses as saying that police had blocked all exits from the Odessa refinery in the morning of February 25.
On February 24, the refinery’s Director Valery Chakheyev tendered resignation; executive Director Sergei Kuznetsov and other top managers also walked out of the enterprise’s offices.
Media reports also said that the refinery would soon stop operation as it gets no more oil from the Sintez Oil transshipment centre that has stopped supplies to the enterprise because of its debts.
The refinery has also been notified about the coming termination of power supplies from February 27 because of the unpaid debts.
Telephones at the Odessa refinery do not answer. Sintez Oil officials told ITAR-TASS they “have no information.”
Ukraine may have gotten its indepdence from Russia. One wonders how much it likes being independent of heating and energy too.