MOSCOW, Aug 4 (PRIME) — Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft is ready to repay its U.S. $10 billion loan to China ahead of schedule, if it goes to a London arbitration court to sue Chinese partners over a decrease in payments for Russian oil supplies, a source close to negotiations said Thursday, as cited by RIA Novosti.
Igor Dyomin, Transnefts spokesman, confirmed that the Russian company had held negotiations with representatives of the China Development Bank, but declined to specify further details.
Dyomin said earlier that China was continuing to decrease its payments for Russian oil supplies. The Chinese decreased payments for Russian oil supplied in May by U.S. $3 per tonne, Dyomin said then, adding that previously China had cut its payments by $13 per tonne.
Transneft CEO Nikolai Tokarev told reporters in July that the company did not rule out applying to a London arbitration court over the case.
In late May, a source said that Russian oil majors Rosneft and Transneft were preparing a joint lawsuit against the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for decreasing payments for oil supplies via the East SiberiaPacific Ocean pipeline.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Rosneft told PRIME Thursday that the company was not considering both applying to an arbitration court and paying its $15 billion loan to China ahead of schedule.
The Russian and Chinese governments signed an agreement of cooperation in the oil sector in 2009. Under the contract, Rosneft and Transneft took out 20-year loans from China, and are obliged to supply 15 million tonnes of Russian oil to China annually over 20 years.
Russian companies started supplying oil to China in January.