The Russian Government is set to suspend its temporary ban on gasoline exports as the domestic market is well-supplied, reported Russian daily RBC, citing sources. 

Russia’s Energy Ministry confirmed the information, the publication added.  

Initially, the ban was set to last for six months, starting from 1 March, with certain exemptions for a Moscow-led economic union and countries with direct fuel supply agreements, such as Mongolia. 

“The temporary ban on gasoline exports, which came into force on 1 March, will be suspended due to the saturation of the domestic market and the completion of unscheduled repairs at the refineries,” the Ministry of Energy was quoted by the publication as saying.   

The official publication of the decision to lift the ban is expected at the beginning of the week, according to sources.  

The timeframe for the new directive, however, has not been specified.  

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“Refineries and oil depots have accumulated reserves of motor gasoline to fully cover the needs of the domestic market. As of 15 May, they amounted to 2.1 million tons for motor gasoline and 3.4 million tons for diesel fuel,” the ministry added. 

The temporary ban, endorsed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at the end of February, was a preventive measure against potential fuel shortages during the high demand season and as insurance against refinery disruptions caused by Ukrainian drone attacks. 

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak had previously indicated that the ban could be revoked if the market was adequately supplied.  

This news coincides with reports from Reuters of a drone attack on Russia’s Slavyansk oil refinery in the Krasnodar region.  

The refinery has reportedly ceased operations following the incident, which involved six drones crashing into the premises early on Sunday 19 May 2024.