A criminal case was opened over premeditated contamination of Russian oil

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Months of work will be needed to restore clean oil supplies via a key Russian pipeline to Europe, Belarus said on Tuesday, as Moscow suggested a deliberate act was behind the contamination that prompted some countries to release state oil reserves.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to Nikolai Tokarev, President of Russian Oil company Transneft during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, April 30, 2019. The Russian oil company has asked state security services to investigate a small private company accused of pushing contaminated oil through an export pipeline to Belarus.

A criminal case was opened over intended contamination of Russian oil”, Transneft spokesman, Igor Dyomin, was quoted as saying by Interfax. Although refiners in countries including Poland and Germany will suffer a lengthy disruption to their feedstock, several companies said they had sufficient inventories to see them through.

Clean Russian oil had reached the border with Belarus by midday on Monday, a Russian official said, five days after European refineries suspended imports because of contamination in the Druzhba pipeline.