BARNAUL, August 28. /TASS/. Russia will secure oil supplies to Belarus this year in compliance with the agreement, that was reached earlier, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.
"We will provide supplies exactly in compliance with the agreement," he said.
Earlier Reuters reported referring to the protocol of amendments to the bilateral agreement and an explanatory note of Belarusian petrochemical company Belneftekhim that Russia intends to limit duty-free supplies of petroleum products and liquefied gas to Belarus from the fourth quarter of 2018.
On August 26, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview with the national TV said that Belarus is expecting Russia to fulfil the oil and gas agreements that were reached earlier.
Russia is the main supplier of oil and gas to Belarus. In 2017, it supplied 18 mln tonnes of oil and 19 bln cubic meters of natural gas to its neighbor. In the first quarter of 2018, it supplied 6 bcm of gas and 4.5 mln tonnes of oil. This year, Russia is expected to supply 18 mln tonnes of oil to Belarus.
Russian oil supplies to Belarus
In 2017, Russia and Belarus agreed on annual supplies of 24 mln tonnes of oil to Belneftekhim. Russia supplies only 18 mln tonnes a year and promised to compensate the shortfall in revenues from export duties to Minsk for undelivered 6 mln tonnes. But Moscow is ready to pay compensation only on condition that Minsk will recover debts for gas supplies. Russia supplies crude, petrochemical products and liquefied natural gas to Belarus within a joint customs zone. That means that these supplies are not subject to export duties and Russia is supporting its neighbor with cheap energy. Minsk re-exports some volumes of these products raising additional revenues. Earlier in August Reuters reported that Russia is planning to limit exports of refined oil products to Belarus in a bid to curtail re-exports from the country, which come at the expense of the Russian budget.