By KAREL JANICEK
PRAGUE (AP) — Slovakia’s economy minister says oil shipments from Russia through a critical pipeline to several European countries have resumed after a problem over transit payments was resolved. Russian state pipeline operator Transneft said Tuesday it halted shipments through the southern branch of a pipeline through Ukraine to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Transneft cited complications due to European Union sanctions for its action on Aug. 4, saying its payment to the company’s Ukrainian counterpart was refused. Slovakia’s economy minister said Wednesday the shipments resumed once the payments was made by Slovak refiner Slovnaft after both the Russian and Ukrainian sides agreed. A Slovnaft spokesman said the deal covered shipments to Slovakia and Hungary but not the Czech Republic.