MINSK, January 21. /TASS/. The share of Russian oil supplies to Belarus should stand at 30-40% of the required volumes, with the remaining volumes to be delivered from the Baltic countries and Ukraine and, possibly, from Kazakhstan, President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting on raising the efficiency of petroleum products export on Tuesday.
"Indeed, there is currently no full alternative to Russian oil supplies. However, diversification is required. It is necessary to inch toward buying 30-40% of oil from the Russian Federation. Around 30% should be supplied from the Baltic states and around 30% — via Ukraine," the BelTA news agency quoted Lukashenko as saying.
Belarus is also considering the option of oil supplies from Kazakhstan, President said. Meanwhile, Russia does not agree to transit Kazakhstan's oil to the republic, he added.
Minsk and Moscow are currently negotiating deliveries of Russian hydrocarbons to Belarus. Lukashenko discussed the issue in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 30-31. Following the talks, Lukashenko requested concluding contracts with Russian companies on oil supplies in 2020 to ensure sustainable operation of two Belarusian refineries, though the documents were not signed by January 1.
Belneftekhim reported on January 3 that Russian oil was not supplied. Utilization of refineries has been reduced to the minimum technologically allowed level. On January 4, one-off contracts on supplies of oil to Belarusian refineries were resumed. A source familiar with the talks told TASS earlier that the schedule of deliveries of Russian crude oil to Belarus was signed, with another 600,000 tonnes of oil planned to be supplied by the end of the month. On January 20, it became known that Belarus purchased 80,000 tonnes of oil from Norway.
A representative of Kazakhstan’s energy ministry said earlier that possible oil supplies to Belarus via the Druzhba system had been initiated by Minsk. Meanwhile, the Kazakh side noted that Belarus should negotiate such transit supplies with Russia.