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Belarus requests meeting with Transneft due to poor quality of Russian oil

Transneft said the issue is expected to be fixed by Monday or Tuesday

MINSK, April 20. /TASS/. Belarusian state-run Belneftekhim Concern has requested a meeting with Russia’s Transneft, saying that the quality of oil from Russia, transited via the Druzhba oil pipeline, has declined sharply.

A spokesperson for the Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim Concern), Marina Kostyuchenko, said on Friday that processing this oil may lead to problems for oil refineries and requested "a special meeting with Transneft representatives to settle the situation."

"In the past few days, the quality of Russia’s Urals export brand transited to the oil pipeline leg of the Gomeltransneft Druzhba joint-stock company, has worsened sharply," Kostyuchenko was quoted as saying by the BelTV news agency. "The oil pipeline has been receiving oil in which the presence of organochlorides is dozens of times higher than the upper limits set by the standard."

She said the samples were taken and tested in the presence of a Transneft representative in Belarus.

"At present, emergencies measures are being taken to minimize the aftermath of processing the oil which is below the standard, and to ensure supplies to the domestic market," the spokeswoman said. "Specialists of the Concern are now assessing the damage."

Gomeltransneft Druzhba also informed its partners from other states receiving oil via the Druzhba pipeline, she said.

Meanwhile, Transneft official spokesman Igor Dyomin said the issue is expected to be fixed by Monday or Tuesday.

"The company’s top management and staff maintain contact with specialists of Gomeltransneft Druzhba, Belneftekhim top management and Belarusian oil refineries. We are ready to meet with our Belarusian colleagues to discuss the problem," he said.

"According to our forecasts, the issue of quality should be fixed by Monday or Tuesday," the spokesman added.