The prime minister of Niger said neighboring Benin had violated trade agreements between the two nations and Niger’s Chinese partner by blocking crude shipments from Benin. 

Benin last week barred exports of the fuel from its port after junta-led Niger refused to open its land border for goods coming from the south. 

In doing so, Benin is “preventing Nigerien crude from reaching the international market,” Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine told a news conference in the capital Niamey on Saturday. “This is a serious violation of the commitment,” he said. 

Landlocked Niger relies on Benin to transport its crude oil exports, which are expected to reach 90,000 barrels per day in May. It needs the revenue to pay off over $600 million of debt after it missed several payments on its domestic bonds due to sanctions following the July coup cut of access to the regional bond market. 

A spokesman for Benin’s presidency didn’t respond to a text and calls seeking comment. 

The blocked shipments are part of a $400 million commodity-backed loan from China National Petroleum Corp. Niger, which borrowed the funds from China at 7% interest, plans to repay the debt by shipping oil to the Asian nation for 12 months.