MINSK, 10 January (BelTA) – The government should look for alternative ways to deliver oil to the country, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko gave this instruction at the government session to discuss the social and economic development of Belarus in 2019 and the approaches to the further development of integration projects on 10 January, BelTA informs.
Alexander Lukashenko reminded about the plans to complete the modernization of two Belarusian oil processing enterprises this year. After that Belarus will be able to buy oil for further processing not only in Russia.
“The task was set long ago, we must resolve the issue: to start the alternative delivery of oil via Baltic ports. If Lithuanians do not agree, we must come to terms with Latvians and purchase this oil. We can process this oil at Novopolotsk Oil Refinery and supply oil products to Baltic countries,” Alexander Lukashenko said. In his words, such products will be cheaper for Baltic countries than they are now with global prices. “We can agree that this will be our common oil which we will process at the modernized Novopolotsk Oil Refinery. By the way we have certain capabilities in this regard,” the president said.
The head of state asked not to exaggerate problems connected with the losses for the Belarusian budget due to the tax maneuver in Russia. He urged to look for other reliable sources to neutralize negative aspects. “But I want to warn you: do not even think to shift this burden on our people,” he said. “The population should not feel any additional burden. There should be no problems this or next year, even if we did not compensate anything.” According to the head of state, there is no big deal for Belarus to earn additional $400 million. “As it is calculated now, Belarus' GDP is about $80 in terms of the purchasing power parity. What is the problem? No problems,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced.
“Therefore, do not think that this is a catastrophe. If the Russian government chooses this path and decides to lose the only ally in the western direction, it will be their chose. We cannot force them to do anything,” the president added.