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03 September 2020, 17:06

Importance of long-term stable Belarus-Russia relations in trade in oil, natural gas emphasized

Aleksandr Novak
Aleksandr Novak

MINSK, 3 September (BelTA) – It is important for Belarus and Russia to have stable relations in trade in oil and natural gas. Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak made the statement after negotiations of the Belarusian government delegation and the Russian government one in Minsk on 3 September, BelTA has learned.

The official said: “A lot of matters have been discussed, including those relating to the advancement of cooperation in energy industry.”

Aleksandr Novak stressed that Russia and Belarus are strategic partners in this sphere considering large volumes of acquisition and transit of hydrocarbons. “Certainly, it is very important for us to have stable long-term relations in deliveries of oil and natural gas. All these matters were discussed today. Even in a constructive manner. The heads of government gave instructions to begin negotiations soon taking into account the agreements that had been reached,” he noted.

In his words, among other things the sides agreed to settle the matter of mutual payments for natural gas deliveries soon. “It is necessary to compare notes. On the one hand, there is a debt of $328 million for natural gas deliveries. And there is a payment in advance to the tune of $101 million. These two figures are taken into account in the course of mutual transactions,” the energy minister specified.

“In the near future we are going to discuss terms of deliveries of oil and natural gas in 2021 and later on,” Aleksandr Novak stated.

Asked whether the price for Russian natural gas Belarus buys at $127 per 1,000m3 this year can be reduced, Aleksandr Novak said: “It is a matter of negotiations primarily at the level of companies that supply gas and buyers in Belarus.”

Speaking about oil deliveries, Aleksandr Novak reminded that oil is delivered to Belarus within the framework of indicative balance sheets. Belarus is supposed to receive 24 million tonnes of Russian oil in 2020 and as much in 2021. “Although the volume of deliveries is slightly lower taking into account Belarus' needs for refining. As for prices, they are shaped on the basis of commercial arrangements between Russian oil companies and the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim. The sides have already started negotiations on contracts for the next year. I know the negotiations are very constructive. Our companies confirm the level of prices that are in effect this year. Surely, the prices are set taking into account the market situation and the export duty, which does not get paid. I mean the pricing formula will remain unchanged,” the energy minister said.

The negotiations also touched upon supplies of the electricity that the Belarusian nuclear power plant will generate and overall mutual relations in the sphere of electric energy industry. “Instructions were also given to the energy ministries to work out matters relating to the work of our power grids in conditions of synchronous operation, matters relating to the commissioning of the nuclear power plant. We've agreed with Belarusian Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich that we will set up a working group that will address all these matters,” Aleksandr Novak stated.

Apart from that, the sides discussed the export of Belarus-made oil products via Russian ports instead of third countries. “We can enable sales of these oil products via Russian ports. To make it happen, we have to work out economic conditions between transport companies, port companies, and Belneftekhim. We will get down to it, too,” Aleksandr Novak said.

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