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Belarus plans to start alternative to Russia oil imports by sea by year end

Minsk may start importing oil through the ports of the Baltic States or Ukraine

MINSK, April 23. /TASS/. By the end of the year, Belarus expects to start importing oil, alternative to Russia, through the ports of the Baltic States or Ukraine, Deputy Director General of the Belarusian Oil Company (BNK) Sergey Grib told reports on Tuesday.

"We expect to start deliveries this year," he said.

Grib said that the ports of the Baltic countries and Ukraine are interested in Belarus directing "additional flow of oil through their ports, since for them this means additional income." Grib noted that when selecting partners, everything will depend on the conditions that neighboring countries will give for transshipment and transportation.

"Either these are Baltic ports, or Odessa, or a combination. The Mozyrsky Oil Refinery is closer to Ukraine, ... it is quite possible that oil will go through Ukraine. Naftan is closer to the Baltic ports, so it would be logical to consider the ports of the Baltic Sea," he said.

Grib added that oil from Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and a number of other countries can be refined in Belarus. At the same time, he did not specify which specific areas of oil imports are currently considered by the Belarusian side.

Earlier, Grib said that he Belarus is studying the possibility of buying terminals in Latvia and Lithuania for possible imports of oil by sea in the amount of 200,000-300,000 tonnes per month.