Eurocommission is Ready to Mediate Oil Transit Problem Between Russia and Latvia

The European Commission is ready to mediate solution of the problem of Russian oil transit via Latvia. At the next session of the Energy Committee set up in the framework of the EU-Russia Partnership and Co-operation Treaty, the Eurocommission is going to discuss issues related to the reduction of Russian oil transit via the Latvian Ventspils port, reads the letter of Commissioner Christopher Paten to Latvian Foreign Minister Sandra Kalniete.

Paten's letter is response to Kalniete's message in which she had requested Patten to heed the reduction of Russian oil transit via Latvia's ports. According to the Latvian minister, Russia ceased to export crude oil via pipeline through the Ventspils port for political reasons and was thereby trying to exert pressure on Latvia.

Russia denies Latvia's accusations categorically.

Vice-President of Transneft oil company Sergei Grigoriev said in an interview with the Telegraf newspaper (Riga), that "the decision not to export oil via the Latvian port is not political, but purely economic." According to Grigoriev, continuation of transit via Ventspils requires $143 million for the reconstruction of the pipeline leading to the port.