Belarus to buy Russian oil without premiums, has no plans to drop alternative sources
Moscow. Belarus will get Russian oil without paying premiums to suppliers, however the country will not refuse from alternative sources of oil, Belarus' Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko has told the Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, BelTA has learned.
“We have recently managed to come to terms on Russian oil supplies to Belarus for 2020. We agreed on reducing premiums payable to Russian oil companies by $7 per tonne. The remaining part of the premiums ($4.7 per tonne) will be offset by extra-budgetary settlements between Belarus and Russia. Therefore, we expect that in 2020 we will be able to promptly increase oil supplies and approach the 2020 targets set before,” Vladimir Semashko said.
He noted that the decision to drop premiums will work only this year and only if the oil prices stay within $40-45 per barrel in 2020. “After that, Belarusian and Russian oil refineries should have absolutely equal terms of compensation for the tax maneuver if the two countries want to establish a common market of oil and petroleum products in the Union State,” the ambassador said.
“Naturally, most of the oil that we need will be received from Russia because logistics is convenient and because Belarusian oil refineries have the technical capacity to refine Urals oil. At the same time, a task was set for the Belarusian oil industry concern Belneftekhim to boost domestic oil production, to increase crude supplies from time-tested foreign sources and to look for alternative oil suppliers, so that Belarus will not face such a situation again,” Vladimir Semashko said.
He went on saying that he is optimistic about the prospects of establishing united energy markets. “First of all, the establishment of the common markets of oil and petroleum products, gas and the common electric energy market is provided by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. As you know, they are to be established by 2025. Appropriate program documents were passed within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. In addition to that, last year we tried to develop and pass road maps on the formation of united markets of gas, oil, petroleum products and electric energy and to promote nuclear energy within the framework of the Union State within a much shorter period. The talks revealed that both the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation are eager to set up these markets. However, the parties somewhat disagree on some approaches to the formation and operation of these markets. We keep working on it,” the diplomat said.