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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…

Russia insists that its oil supply cuts to the Czech Republic are related to technical, rather than “political” reasons, despite fears that it is trying to punish the Czechs for their role in the US missile defense shield. But it appears we’ve heard this line before…and the evidence is not especially encouraging. From Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune:

Three years ago, Russian oil destined for a Lithuanian oil refinery was also halted for technical reasons. Transneft, the Russian monopoly responsible for sending the natural gas through the pipelines, said at the time that the pipeline had been ruptured and would take a few months to repair. Oil deliveries to the refinery still have not resumed.