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10 January 2019, 15:38

No official Russian proposals to buy Belarusian oil refineries yet

MINSK, 10 January (BelTA) – No official proposals from Russia concerning the acquisition of Belarusian oil refineries have been received so far, BelTA learned from Andrei Rybakov, Chairman of the Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim, on 10 January.

Reports about Russia allegedly considering buying Belarusian oil refineries in order to compensate for Belarus' losses caused by the so-called tax maneuver were released via Russian Telegram channels the other day and spread by mass media later on.

Andrei Rybakov stressed: “No official information like that has been received, this is why commenting on any statements is meaningless. Once there is an official word, official proposals, then official comments will be released.”

According to the source, ways to compensate losses of the Belarusian oil processing industry due to the tax maneuver in Russia were discussed at the government conference hosted by the head of state earlier that day. The Belneftekhim head said: “First of all, the head of state gave instructions that these mechanisms should not affect ordinary citizens of our country. A broad range of possibilities will have to be explored soon. Economic and legal calculations will have to be made.”

Belneftekhim has set up a taskforce to look into alternative ways of delivering oil to Belarus. “We always think about it,” added Andrei Rybakov. “Certainly, Russian oil offers the biggest profit margin for now. But the margin will erode over the years as Russian prices get closer to the world price. It is no secret that in some years we received alternative oil supplies via Baltic states. These channels have not been cut off. We constantly monitor our options. They are available as of today.”

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