Russian oil deliveries to Hungary through the Druzhba pipeline crossing Belarus were brought to a halt on Monday evening due to a dispute as Moscow accused Minsk of stealing oil, according to Hungarian agency MTI. Later in the night it was reported that deliveries to Slovakia were also stopped, with Germany and Poland also threatened.

The Hungarian Economy minister Janos Koka however dismissed claims of an oil crisis despite the interruption of the oil flow. He said that unless the deliveries resumed today he would authorize the use of strategic reserves.

His Slovakian counterpart Brano Zvara said his country was not yet willing to use its reserves, which would guarantee the necessary oil for 73 days.

Disputes between Russia and Belarus started when Moscow doubled its gas prices and considerably increased oil prices on January 1, 2007. Belarus responded with a new tax on oil transiting the country.

Some 70 million tons of oil transit Belarus through the Druzhba pipeline annually.