The government commission that is in charge of the access of oil companies to oil pipelines adopted a decision to cut oil exports of 50 Russian oil producing companies by 342,000 tons. The result of a monitoring of the Transneft pipeline system showed that some oil companies did not fulfill their plans on oil production and exports in the first quarter of 2002. As a result some 1m tons of oil were not transported through the Transneft oil pipeline system in this period, which was some 35 percent of the total volume of companies' applications for oil transportation. The largest company that failed to provide the planned export volume was Bitran. It hoped to export 117,000 tons of oil in the first quarter but in fact exported practically nothing, Deputy Prime Minster Viktor Khristenko told journalists. The largest oil companies did not have such a situation, he stressed. At the same time he did not specify how the above mentioned 342,000 tons of oil would be redistributed.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated