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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Official Queries Baltic Pipe Damage

RIGA, Latvia -- Russia's failure to repair an oil pipeline to Lithuania is "strange" and "peculiar," a U.S. State Department official has said.

The pipeline, which ruptured in July last year, has yet to be repaired, a delay that's difficult to explain, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza said Wednesday in Riga.

The pipeline accident cut off supplies to oil refinery Mazeikiu Nafta after Poland's PKN Orlen signed a contract to purchase the Lithuanian company, beating out Rosneft.

"I think it is peculiar that they haven't been able to repair that leak. A pipeline leak is really easy to repair," Bryza said.

The cut in pipeline shipments to Lithuania have frayed relations between the Baltic states and Russia.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus said May 12 his country might block a trade and energy treaty between the European Union and Russia if the pipeline is not repaired.