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Reuters: Russia asks Kazakhstan to resupply gasoline in case of shortages, sources say

by Dmytro Basmat April 9, 2024 12:48 AM 2 min read
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend their meeting at the Ak Orda Presidential Palace, Nov. 9, 2023 in Astana, Kazakhstan. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russia has asked Kazakhstan to be ready to supply the country with 100,000 tons of gasoline in case of Russian gasoline shortages caused by an increase of Ukrainian drone attacks on oil refineries, three sources told Reuters on April 8.

One of the industry sources told Reuters that an agreement to use Kazakh reserves has already been reached. An advisor to Kazakhstan's energy minister denied Russia has even made such a request.

The alleged request from Russia comes as Ukraine continues to target Russian oil refineries in retaliation for increased Russian attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian drone strikes have disrupted at least 10% of Russia's refinery capacity, the U.K. Defense Ministry said on March 23, and has forced Russia to impose a six month gasoline export ban that began on March 1 to avoid acute shortages.

The increased attacks against oil refineries have caught the attention of the United States, who warned Ukraine to stop attacking Russian oil refineries, allegedly out of concern that strikes could raise global oil prices and increase the risk of further retaliation, the Financial Times reported on March 22.

Ukraine continues to maintain that targeting Russian energy infrastructure is a legitimate military strategy.

"We used our drones. Nobody can say to us you can’t," Zelensky told the Washington Post on March 30 emphasizing that Washington could not limit Ukraine's use of its own weapons.

Fossil fuels are the primary drivers of the Russian economy and the main source of revenue for the Kremlin's war machine. Despite Russia's gasoline export ban, the country continues to supply countries in the Moscow-led Eurasian economic union, including Kazakhstan.

Amid chronic gasoline shortages, Kazakhstan itself restricted fuel exports until the end of 2024.

Bloomberg: Trade of yuan in Russia’s foreign exchange market reaches record high
The data was another illustration of the increasing importance of the yuan in Russia’s economy amid the growing de-coupling from Western financial systems.
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