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Belarus eager to start importing non-Russian oil by year end

Economy 23.04.2019 | 13:12
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 23 April (BelTA) – Belarus intends to start importing oil via Baltic or Ukrainian ports by the end of 2019 as an alternative to Russian oil. The statement was made by Deputy Director General for Commerce of Belarusian Oil Company Sergei Grib on the sidelines of the seminar-conference on exporting products of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim to the European Union on 23 April, BelTA has learned.

“We intend to start importing this year,” the executive said.

In his words, the final decision on the alternative oil import route will depend on the transshipment and transportation terms Belarus' neighbors will offer. “Either Baltic Sea ports or Odessa or a combination [of both]. Mozyr Oil Refinery is closer to Ukraine. It is quite possible that alternative oil will be delivered via Ukraine. Naftan is closer to Baltic Sea ports, respectively it would be logical to consider Baltic Sea ports,” the deputy director general for commerce of Belarusian Oil Company explained.

Sergei Grib added that Ukraine and Baltic countries are interested in getting more oil to flow via their ports.

The executive specified that Belarusian oil refineries can process 18 oil varieties. In particular, they can process oil from Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria. He did not specify what import options were being discussed.

BelTA earlier quoted Sergei Grib as saying that while searching for terminals in the Baltic states, Belarus will bear in mind the ability to import oil by sea. Buying assets in ports is also a good idea taking into account the search for alternative ways to import oil after the “tax maneuver” in Russia. “Actually, this matter is always on the agenda. Everything will depend on what our partners from Baltic states will offer. We are talking about 200,000-300,000 tonnes per month,” he added.

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