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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dispute Lingers On Pipeline Fees

KIEV -- Talks between Ukraine and Russia on transit fees through the Ukrainian section of the Druzhba oil pipeline collapsed Thursday with no new date set for a resumption, a senior Ukrainian official said.

Ukrainian officials accused Russia's delegation of changing its mind at the last minute over a compromise to settle a dispute over transit fees. Olexander Sverdlov, head of the State Oil and Gas Committee's transportation department, said Ukraine would continue to pump Russian oil through its stretch of the Druzhba pipeline to East European customers at the rate of $5.20 per ton it unilaterally set at the beginning of the year.

Supplies of crude oil resumed through the pipeline to Eastern Europe on Wednesday after a two-day suspension.

Sverdlov said the Russian delegation proposed a tiered tariff system -- $5.20 per ton if annual flows were 16 million to 20 million tons, a lower fee if the flow exceeded 20 million and a higher fee if it fell below 16 million.

Sverdlov said Russian delegates had threatened to pressure Russian firms not to send oil through the Ukrainian portion of the pipeline. "But this is not realistic. Business is business," he said.