MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Moscow and Minsk will continue addressing the issues connected with oil supplies, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
He confirmed that presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, "discussed various issues related to Russian oil supplies, to the price" in a telephone conversation earlier on Friday. "Supplies are provided not by the Russian state, but by Russian oil companies," Peskov noted.
Deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration Dmitry Kozak held a meeting earlier this week to "clarify the position of oil companies regarding oil prices that they are ready to offer to their Belarusian colleagues," Peskov said. "Different oil companies expressed their stance on possible prices, discounts. Imposing unfavorable terms inconsistent with the Russian and global price environment on those companies is out of the question, of course," he added.
Spokesman recognized that he cannot "provide the details" of the oil discussion between Putin and Lukashenko. "Based on the discussion, each side makes its own calculations," Peskov said, adding that "the work will continue as the Belarusian government has been tasked with continuing contacts with Russian companies and representatives of the Russian side."
"The work is underway to develop the dialogue that (Putin and Lukashenko) had in Sochi (in February), and a number of parameters should still be defined," he noted.
Speaking about Friday’s telephone conversation, Peskov said that presidents "discussed again oil issues, financial issues, other issues of bilateral relations, which are intensively expanding on various areas."
The supplies of Russian oil to Belarusian refineries were stopped on January 1, 2020 because Moscow and Minsk had failed to come to an agreement on this year’s supplies. Later, deliveries were partially resumed by the Safmar Group. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko instructed his government earlier to find alternatives to importing oil from Russia. Minsk also insists on compensation of the costs of the Belarusian side due to the tax maneuver in Russia’s oil sector.
On February 7, another round of oil talks with participation of presidents of Belarus and Russia was held, following which it was announced that Moscow and Minsk would continue discussing crude supplies solely on commercial terms.