On December 20, the head of the Russian state-controlled pipeline transport company Transneft claimed that Germany and Poland had submitted applications for pumping Russian oil through the Druzhba pipeline in 2023.
According to the Russian official, Warsaw expects to receive 360 thousand tons of oil in December 2022, and will pump 3 million tons more. In its turn, Germany has has also supplied an application for the first quarter of next year, but the volume of the supplies was not revealed.
“They announced that they would not take oil from Russia from Jan. 1. And now we have received requests from Polish consumers: give us 3 million tonnes next year, and 360,000 tonnes for December, and Germany has already submitted a request for the first quarter,” Transneft head said on Tuesday.
In November, the Polish authorities declared that they intended to stop importing Russian oil by the end of 2022.
Poland called on its European partners to impose sanctions against the northern line of the Druzhba oil pipeline in an attempt to obtain legal grounds for terminating existing contracts with Russia without penalties. The largest Polish oil refiner Orlen signed a contract with Transneft for 200 thousand tons of oil per month which expires in December 2024.
Poland was seeking German support for EU sanctions on the Polish-German section of the Druzhba pipeline so that Warsaw could abandon a deal to buy Russian oil next year without paying penalties. On December 1, Germany and Poland signed a joint declaration on mutual support in the field of oil supply security.
In the summer, Germany also announced that they would stop its purchases from December 31.
However, the claims of Polish and German officials had nothing to do with the reality. Russian sources had already reported in November that the largest Polish oil refiner Orlen had agreed with Transneft to supply 3 million tons of oil next year via Druzhba. Vice-president of the Russian company then confirmed that they had received the applications from the Polish side.
On December 5, EU sanctions came into force, which banned the supply of Russian oil to the EU by sea. The embargo does not apply to crude oil, which is supplied via Druzhba pipeline.