MOSCOW Aug 28 Russia's state pipeline monopoly
Transneft has ordered a cut in oil supplies to Belarus by
400,000 tonnes, or nearly one-quarter of previously planned
deliveries for September, the firm and trading sources said on
Transneft cited environmental concerns as it
said it needed to replace 700 km (440 miles) of old pipelines.
"We have to speed up work as it is ecologically dangerous,"
vice-president Mikhail Barkov said.
Oil traders said the order was completely unexpected.
It followed Belarus's arrest this week of the head of
Russia's Uralkali, the world's top potash producer, in
a row over the collapse of a sales alliance that has triggered a
diplomatic spat with Moscow.
"It looks like we are heading for a new trade war again,"
one trader said.