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Losses' assessments caused by Druzhba pipeline incident may take 3-4 weeks, deputy PM says

Dmitry Kozak said, speaking about potential recipients of compensation, that "we assume that everyone understood the situation, therefore they do not pedal the topic of compensation"

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. Assessments of damage from oil contamination in the Druzhba export pipeline may appear 3-4 weeks, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told reporters after meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Igor Lyashenko.

"I think in three or four weeks," he said when answering a relevant question.

"Today we have agreed to set up a joint working group of eight people who will assess the actual losses," he added.

Kozak also said that when deciding on the dividends of the Russian pipeline operator Transneft the government will take into account compensations the operator is to pay in connection with the oil contamination in the Druzhba pipeline.

"Dividends are paid on the basis of net profit, and this [compensation] imply costs. Of course, they will be taken it into account, they (compensations) must be taken into account," he said.

Speaking about potential recipients of compensation, the Deputy Prime Minister noted: "We assume that everyone understood the situation, therefore they do not pedal the topic of compensation. Everyone approached the situation constructively - Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia," he said.

Druzhba pipeline incident

On April 19, the Belarusian petrochemical company Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration in the quality of the Russian oil running through the pipeline. Both Belarusian refineries - the Mozyr refinery (Gomel region) and Naftan (Vitebsk region) - reported the risk of equipment facing damage and almost halved the refining volumes. On April 23, Belarus was forced to halt exports of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries due to deliveries of poor quality oil.

Poland, Germany, Ukraine and Slovakia suspended crude oil supplies from Russia through the Druzhba oil pipeline. The pollutant was revealed at the Samara-Unecha section.

The Investigative Committee of Russia’s Samara region initiated a criminal case under Part 4 of Art. 215.3 of the Criminal Code("Destruction, damage or putting otherwise into a state unfit for operation of crude-oil pipelines by a group of persons by previous collusion,") Art.210 of the Criminal Code ("Creation of a Criminal Community (Criminal Organization) and Participation Therein") and Art. 158 of the Criminal Code ("Theft").

On Wednesday, Transneft promised that supplies of clean oil from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline to Slovakia and Hungary will be resumed on May 21-24.