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3 Mar 2020

No agreements between Belarus, major Russian oil suppliers yet

No agreements between Belarus, major Russian oil suppliers yet
Andrei Rybakov. An archive photo

MINSK, 3 March (BelTA) – No agreements the Belarusian side counts on have been reached with major Russian oil suppliers yet, BelTA learned from Chairman of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim Andrei Rybakov.

The official said: “We don’t try to deprive anyone of opportunities for working with the Republic of Belarus. We still stay in touch and continue negotiating with large companies. But no agreements we count on have been reached so far. At the same time we are actively exploring other options. Both along the broad Russian vector and along the external perimeter – supplies of other oil varieties.”

In his words, Belneftekhim will have to even more effectively and fruitfully continue working to diversify imports, contacts both inside the Russian Federation and with suppliers from other countries. “We have ambitious plans. We hope we will not fail the head of state, will not fail our industry,” Andrei Rybakov added.

BelTA reported earlier that on 3 March Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a government conference to discuss ways to ensure effective operation of the country’s oil refining complex in 2020 and later on. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that certain countries now believe they can more easily achieve their goals by cutting off oil supplies. “Don’t think I hint purely at Russia. It is now the norm for the countries that are lucky to have oil reserves by god’s grace,” he noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that at present the country’s import of raw materials is about 1 million tonnes per month below the intended amount. The fact has affected a number of enterprises. Yet the Belarusian head of state described the current situation as useful in some ways: “We’ve been unreasonably focused on several suppliers and have no long-term alternative sources of crude materials. No one has monopoly on oil. There are plenty of those willing to work with us even in Russia. We have to find suppliers and we have to come to terms with them. It is a number one task. Particularly in the current complicated situation in the world, including the situation concerning our monopolistic partner.”

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