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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Assures Envoys on Energy Supply

Russia has been and will remain a reliable supplier of energy, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday -- a statement that closely follows a bitter oil dispute with Belarus that interrupted supplies to Europe.

Russia shut off oil supplies to the country for three days last week in a dispute over customs duties and transit fees, disrupting supplies to Europe.

The spat ended Friday with an agreement under which Russia will get a lion's share of profits from the refined oil products that Belarus makes using Russian oil and then sells to Europe.

Without naming Belarus, Putin said in televised remarks that "energy security can only be achieved through a shared responsibility of all participants in the energy chain."

"Russia has been a reliable supplier of energy resources for decades, and we intend to do all we can in the future to fully observe our obligations," Putin said while receiving credentials from foreign ambassadors to Moscow.

The oil dispute between Russia and Belarus added to European fears about Moscow's reliability as an energy supplier -- a reputation that had already been damaged by last year's price dispute with Ukraine and temporary shortages of Russian gas to European customers.

Both disputes and energy price hikes for other former-CIS countries have drawn criticism of Russia from Western nations, which have accused Moscow of using its vast resource wealth as a political weapon.