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Czech Republic Moves Closer To Severing All Energy Ties With Russia

The Czech Republic made more progress in detangling itself from Russia in the matter of energy supplies.

According to Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the country has signed a deal to increase the amount of oil that can flow through the Transalpine Pipeline (TAL) starting in 2025, Reuters said on Tuesday.

The Czech government, like other nations, is hoping to distance itself from Russia, particularly in matters of energy. The Czech Republic, along with Slovakia and Hungary, were granted exemptions from the European Union ban on Russian imports until such a time when they were able to cut the cords with Russian oil completely. The Czech Republic also won an exemption for imports of diesel made from Russian crude.

Fiala said last year about this time that the Czech Republic’s dependence on Russia for oil and diesel is one of the country’s “greatest security risks,” and that it was in need of a complete overhaul. The Czech Republic depends on Russian gas for 90% of what it needs, and on Russian crude for 50% of its needs.

Czech refineries are owned by PKN Orlen, which is state-run by Poland. PKN Orlen said last month that it terminated a contract for Russian oil supplies for its Polish refineries. Now they said they would look to terminate its Russian crude heading to PKN refineries in the Czech Republic.

Fiala said that it just signed a deal between state-run pipeline operator MERO and TAL to increase capacity in the pipeline by up to 4 million tonnes, allowing to to cut its dependence on Russian crude by 2025.

The Czech Republic uses between 7 and 8 million tonnes of crude oil annually—half from TAL, and half from the Druzhba, which moves Russian crude.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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