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Minsk and Moscow to start discussing oil supplies to Belarus in June — Belneftekhim

Head of Belarusian Concern Belneftekhim Andrey Rybakov said that representatives of the Russian Energy Ministry will take part in the talks
Belneftekhim Chairman Andrey Rybakov Natalia Fedosenko/TASS
Belneftekhim Chairman Andrey Rybakov
© Natalia Fedosenko/TASS

MINSK, May 21. /TASS/. Belarus and Russia will start discussing this year's volumes of Russian oil supplies to Belarus in early June, taking into account the situation with the supply of poor quality crude, head of Belarusian Concern Belneftekhim Andrey Rybakov told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have an agreement with the Russian side, when we physically launch the roadmap process, at the beginning of June, not later than the first 10 days, we will gather at the interdepartmental level, we will make assessments taking into account the development of the current situation," the BelTA news agency quoted Rybakov as saying.

When asked if Belarusian refineries will be able to process 18 million tonnes of oil this year (the volume determined by the so-called indicative balance which was approved by the Russian side for 2019), Rybakov said that the talks in early June will involve Russian Energy Ministry and Belneftekhim from the Belarusian side.

"Then we will be able to more clearly predict how to catch up on what has been missed," Rybakov said.

In mid-April, Minsk reported supplies of poor quality oil from Russia.

On April 24, Belarus stopped the transit of contaminated Russian oil to Europe. Both Belarusian refineries — Mozyr Refinery and Naftan — reported  the threat of equipment damage and reduced refining volumes by almost 50%. They also had to suspend the export of light petroleum products to Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic states. Good quality oil was delivered to the border of Belarus through the Druzhba pipeline on May 2, and at the Mozyr line operations control station on May 4.

On May 19, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Lyashenko said that Belarus had agreed on a draft roadmap with Russia to resolve the situation with oil supplies and had started implementing it.