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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Transneft Says Pipeline Remains Closed

Transneft vice president Sergei Grigoryev said Friday that an oil pipeline to Lithuania remained closed, referring to a news report that the damaged link was ready to start pumping crude again.

"This doesn't affect Transneft," Grigoryev said by telephone. The damage on the branch of the Druzhba trunk line took place on Russian soil, not in Belarus, he said.

Interfax reported Thursday from Minsk that the transit pipeline to Lithuania's Mazeikiu refinery from Russia was ready to start pumping. The refinery has been without Russian crude from the pipeline, which runs through Belarus, for almost a year.

Russia closed the Druzhba line last July saying it needed repairs. Grigoryev said Friday the line was "in the same condition as before."

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus has called the Druzhba shut-off "political." Last year bankrupt oil firm Yukos sold its controlling stake in the refinery to Poland's PKN Orlen, beating out LUKoil and TNK-BP.