(MINSK, Belarus) — Belarus has reached an settlement with Russia for restricted oil provides after Moscow earlier this week stopped supplying crude amid stalled talks on strengthening financial ties between the neighboring international locations.
Belarusian state-run oil firm Belneftekhim mentioned Saturday that the nation’s refineries began receiving the primary batch of crude oil, adequate to make sure “continuous operation of the nation’s refineries in January 2020.”
Russian pipeline operator Transneft confirmed earlier on Saturday it might switch 133,000 tons of oil to Belarus.
In keeping with a press release from Belneftekhim, the oil would come at a reduced value whereas negotiations for resuming common imports proceed.
Russia stopped supplying oil to its post-Soviet neighbor after Dec. 31, as the 2 international locations didn’t renegotiate oil costs for this yr amid stalled talks on additional strengthening financial ties.
The suspension didn’t have an effect on oil transit to Europe or the availability of pure fuel however had penalties for Belarus. which depends on Russia for greater than 80% of its total vitality wants.
The nation’s two refineries had been working at low capability, operating on reserves. On Friday, Minsk introduced it was suspending its personal oil exports, which contribute as much as 20% of annual GDP.
The Kremlin has not too long ago elevated stress on Belarus, elevating vitality costs and chopping subsidies. It argues that Belarus ought to settle for higher financial integration if it needs to proceed receiving vitality sources at Russia’s home costs.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held two rounds of talks in December however failed to succeed in an settlement on the nearer ties and on oil and fuel costs.
Putin mentioned Russia was not able to “subsidize” vitality provides with out extra financial integration with ally Belarus. Lukashenko insisted he wouldn’t log out on the mixing till the problems with oil and fuel provides had been resolved.