MINSK, January 4. /TASS/. The supply of Russian oil to Belarusian oil refineries has been renewed, Deputy Chairman of Belneftekhim Concern Vladimir Sizov informed on Saturday.
"Today, at 17:05 (local time, same as Moscow time - TASS), the pumps have been turned on and oil supply has begun in the direction of Naftan [oil refinery]," the BelTA news agency quotes the chairman as saying. He added that the supply would then reach the Mozyrsky oil refinery, with 6,000 tonnes of oil to be supplied by the end of the day.
"Oil transit is carried out in accordance with the obligations undertaken by oil supply enterprises and the Republic of Belarus," Sizov is quoted as saying. "In order to ensure the steady work of oil refineries and steady oil supply to the domestic market, we have reached an agreement with one of the Russian oil enterprises that about 100-130,000 tonnes of oil will be delivered at the first stage," he added. Sizov noted that up to 650,000 tonnes of oil might be delivered to Belarus in January.
"In January, we expect to renew [export of petroleum products]. We expect that by late January - this is an optimistic scenario - all possible restrictions will be lifted," the Belneftekhim deputy director noted. He explained that the renewal of export would depend on the contract-signing process.
On Friday, Belneftekhim said that Russia had stopped oil supplies to Belarus, adding that the capacity of the country’s oil refineries had been reduced to the minimum technologically permissible level.
On December 30 and 31, Russian and Belarusian leaders Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held two phone calls, during which they discussed the export of Russian oil and gas to the republic. Lukashenko also discussed this matter with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on December 21. On the same day, Lukashenko mandated the Belarusian oil and gas complex leadership to sign contracts for oil deliveries and to work on the conditions of delivering raw materials from Baltic ports via the railway service and the Druzhba pipeline. However, the contracts have not been signed so far.