Russia halts oil flow to Belarus

RUSSIA has halted oil supplies to Belarussian refineries after failing to agree terms for 2010, traders said yesterday, threatening a repeat of a dispute which disrupted supplies to elsewhere in Europe three years ago.

Deliveries to Belarus refineries were halted after talks broke down on New Year’s Eve. Transit flows to other parts of Europe have not so far been affected, but Germany and Poland are closely watching the stand-off after supplies to some of their major refineries were cut during a similar row between Moscow and Minsk in January 2007.