Russia's LUKOIL resumes gasoline supply to Iran -trade

Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:14am GMT

* LUKOIL discharged 250,000 bbl gasoline in Iran last week

* LUKOIL set to move another parcel of gasoline to Iran

By Luke Pachymuthu and Vladimir Soldatkin

SINGAPORE/MOSCOW, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Russian oil giant LUKOIL (LKOH.MM: Quote) has resumed gasoline sales into Iran in partnership with China's state-run firm Zhuhai Zhenrong, even as the United States urges the international community to be tough with Tehran.

Iran is the world's fifth-largest oil exporter but lacks adequate refining capacity to meet domestic demand for motor fuel, forcing it to import up to 40 percent of its requirements.

Russia and China, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, signed up to the latest round of U.N. sanctions on Iran, but refused to support measures that targeted the Islamic Republic's oil and gas sector.

The U.S. has since passed additional unilateral sanctions allowing it to penalise fuel suppliers to Iran, measures criticised by both Beijing and Moscow.

Moscow is struggling to balance trade ties with Tehran and warmer relations with the United States, which is eager for Kremlin support to rein in Iranian nuclear activities Washington says it believes are aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.   Continued...

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