Germany sees no sign of Russia cutting oil to Europe

August 29th, 2008 - 7:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Berlin, Aug 29 (DPA) The German government has not discerned any signs that Russia might cut oil deliveries to Europe as part of its response to the crisis over Georgia, a spokesman said Friday. “We firmly assume that contracts will be adhered to,” government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

He was responding to a report in the London-based Daily Telegraph that the Kremlin would order a cut-off in supplies to Poland and Germany through the Druzhba pipeline.

“There are no signs thus far that contracts and approved deliveries will not be adhered to,” Wilhelm said.

The Telegraph reported Friday that fears were mounting that Russia could restrict oil deliveries to Western Europe as soon as Monday after reports to this effect had begun circulating in Moscow.

“It is believed that executives from lead-producer LUKoil have been put on weekend alert,” the British daily said.

It said it had been informed by a “high-level business source” that the executives had been “told to be ready to cut off supplies as soon as Monday”.

Regarding an emergency meeting of European Union (EU) heads on the crisis Monday, Wilhelm said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s aim was that the summit sent “a clear political signal of determination.”

Wilhelm said the EU was united in backing the six-point plan put forward by French President Nicolas Sarkozy Aug 12 during visits to Moscow and Tbilisi and subsequently signed by Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Georgia’s territorial integrity had to be respected, he said.

Merkel phoned Medvedev on Thursday to make clear she saw Russian recognition of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Georgia as “absolutely not acceptable.”

In response to a question, Wilhelm said the chancellor had not been in contact over the past week with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, seen by many observers as the driving force behind the new hardline approach from the Kremlin.

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