On Saturday, an attempt was made to blow up the Friendship (Druzhba) oil pipeline to Europe in the Bryansk region of Russia, which also borders Ukraine and Belarus, the Ukrainian news portal Pravda Ukraine reported.
Reports revealed that three explosions damaged one of the transformer stations of the pipeline. At the same time, the company Transneft, which operates the Russian oil pipeline network, emphasized in its statement that “there is no disruption to the pipeline and crude oil is being transported to Europe.”
The Druzhba was built in the 1960s to supply oil to the socialist countries in Eastern Europe.
The European Union decided in late May on a sixth Russian sanctions package banning Russian oil imports. However, those countries that receive oil via pipelines are exempt from the oil embargo and can continue to operate in their current form, including Hungary.
Prior to the adoption of the sanctions package, Olena Zerkal, an adviser to Ukraine’s energy minister, had said “something could happen to the Friendship oil pipeline.”
Zerkal has also noted that Hungary receives Russian oil through the Friendship pipeline passing through Ukraine. According to the adviser, by damaging or closing the pipeline, Ukraine could put pressure on the Hungarian government to support the oil embargo.
A similar attack was carried out in April before Saturday’s attempt. At that time, an oil tank was set on fire in Bryansk, at the Druzhba pipeline station.