Operation of the Belarusian part of the oil-products pipeline "Unecha- Ventspils" which belongs to "Zapadtransneftprodukt" enterprise, has been suspended since July 17 because of its unsatisfactory technical condition.
It has been stated in Minsk today by a representative of the Emergency Situations ministry Viktar Barouski. As said by him, after the recent diagnostic operation of the oil-products pipeline by a German company, more than 1,082 troubles were detected and planned to be corrected in 2008-2009.
"We have issued an order to "Zapadtransneftprodukt" to correct these troubles before July 17 this year. But only 254 problems have been corrected, which makes only 23.5%. Since July 17 we have suspended operation of this oil-products pipeline. No diesel fuel is being transported through it now," Barouski said.
He noted that at the moment owners of the pipeline have started large-scale works and correct all their plans to cure most dangerous troubles.
As it has been informed, the first leak of diesel fuel from the pipeline belonging to the Russian company "Zapadtransneftprodukt" was recorded on March 23, 2007. Part of diesel fuel got into Ulla River, a tributary of the Western Dvina, which was contaminated for 15 kilometers.
The second disaster took place on February 14, 2008 at the 422nd kilometer of Unecha-Rovno pipeline. A leak of about 70 cubic metres of diesel fuel at the territory of 100 square metres occurred. "Zapadtransneftprodukt" paid Br 2 billion as damages compensation, however the Belarusian side was not satisfied by this sum.
After the two catastrophes, the Belarusian Nature Ministry voiced an initiative to suspend operation of the oil pipeline of "Zapadtransneftprodukt".
Recently the list of mutual claims of the authorities of Belarus and Russia is growing steadily: a ban has been imposed on Belarusian milk products imported to Russia, deliveries of Belarusian farming machinery have been almost stopped, import of Belarusian drugs to Russia and of Russian meat to Belarus have been banned, and so on. In early July "Gazprom" head Alexei Miller stated that the debt of Belarus makes $244 million, and in case Minsk won’t pay in July, "Gazprom" would either go to court or reduce volumes of deliveries.