Europe

Russia to freeze petrol exports for month of May

Empty petrol tankers wait to fill up outside Moscow, 27 April
Image caption Russian patrol rankers have been standing empty

The energy ministry in Russia has banned the export of petrol during the month of May after fuel ran out in parts of the country.

The crisis stems from when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin moved to restrain pump prices in February.

Fuel companies in turn sought higher prices in other countries.

Russia is renowned as one of the world's biggest exporters of crude oil but is not so well known for selling refined petrol.

In the first quarter of this year the amount of petrol exported by rail was 40% higher than in the same period last year.

The knock-on effect of that emerged this month when fuel stations in parts of Russia including St Petersburg started running dry.

So now the government has stepped in again.

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