Belarusian operator of Druzhba pipeline loses court battle against Orlen Lithuania
Topics: BELARUS DRUZHBA LITHUANIA
On May 7, the Supreme Court of Lithuania refused to accept Gomeltransneft Druzhba's appeal against lower courts' rulings unfavorable to the Belarusian company.
The Lithuanian Court of Appeal dismissed Gomeltransneft Druzhba's lawsuit in March, saying that after the Lithuanian section of the pipeline became the property of Lithuania, the so-called "technological oil" that remained there was "subject to the same legal fate".
The Lithuania media reported in 2015 that Orlen Lietuva had removed the remaining crude while repairing the closed Druzhba pipeline for environmental purposes, which had a positive one-off effect on the refinery's operating results.
Russia shut Druzhba in July 2006 immediately after the sale of the Mazeikiai crude refinery to Poland's Orlen. The official explanation for the shutdown was a need to repair the pipeline, but Lithuania never doubted that it was a political decision. ■