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Belarus to try to get 30-40% of necessary amount of oil from Russia

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus will endeavor to procure 30-40% of the oil the country needs from Russia. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the relevant statement during the government conference held on 21 January to discuss ways to make the export of oil products more effective, BelTA has learned.

The head of state said: “Indeed, there is no complete alternative to Russian oil now. But we have to diversify imports as we've agreed. We have to aim to get 30-40% of oil from the Russian Federation. We should import about 30% from the Baltic states and about 30% via Ukraine – it's been tried and tested. Kazakhstan may supply oil to us if Russia agrees to it. It is strange that our ally refuses to allow another ally of ours to supply oil to us. Well, this is the oil supply situation we have to deal with at present.”

“The economic conditions we are forced to work in are getting more complicated. Due to the introduction of the tax maneuver in the Russian Federation revenues of Belarus' central state budget are unavoidably going down and the performance of our oil refineries is getting worse. The oil refineries are having problems with financing their ongoing operation and – which is also important – their investment programs designed to step up production,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.

The head of state raised a number of questions relating to forecasts of development of the global market of oil and oil products in the near future and the medium term, actions to forestall possible negative trends, and reserves to make the export of oil products more effective in current conditions.

The president also wondered how his instructions to procure oil from places other than Russia were being fulfilled.