Lukashenko proposes Kazakhstan supply oil to Belarus

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NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — Belarus is holding talks on the delivery of oil from Kazakhstan and suggests stepping up these talks, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belarus Yermukhamet Yertysbayev in Minsk on May 23, BelTA news agency reported.

Lukashenko said that Minsk would like to diversify oil deliveries for its refineries.

Ambassador Yertysbayev told Lukashenko that Kazakhstan was ready to supply Belarus with oil but that agreement with Russia was needed first, according to BelTA.

Russia halted oil flows through the Russian Druzhba pipeline, running through Belarus, in April after contaminated oil was discovered, RFE/RL reported.

Meanwhile, pipeline operator Transpetrol announced on May 23 that Russian crude oil flows into Slovakia via Druzhba had resumed a day earlier.

The pipeline carries oil from Russia and Kazakhstan through Belarus to refineries in Poland, Germany, and Slovakia.

Earlier this week, the Belarusian state energy company Belneftekhim said it would take two months to resume oil transit through the Druzhba pipeline after the contamination by Russian oil.

The company added there were currently 1.2 million tons of tainted oil in Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the contamination of Russian oil supplies had caused “very serious” damage to his country’s reputation as an oil exporter, and to Russia’s oil infrastructure.

The Russian oil giant Transneft has accused a small private company of being responsible for the contamination that caused the shutdown.

Sergey Kwan

TCA