Oil deal with Belarus is close

Source Tom Washington

Russia could resume energy supplies to Belarus by Jan.20 as the lastest oil price row appears to be drawing towards a conclusion.

Details emerged earlier on Wednesday that another energy spat was brewing between Russia and Belarus over prices, with Russia turning off the taps and leaving the former Soviet state with enough oil to last until only the end of the month.

"We are currently holding talks with oil suppliers and supply contracts are being signed," Marina Kostyuchenko, a spokeswoman for state-controlled petrochemicals company Belneftekhim said.

When asked whether the negotiations were expected to be finished before January 20, Kostyuchenko said "We hope it will happen earlier," RIA Novosti reported.

Expected 2011 oil supplies to Belarus are to amount to 21.7 million metric tons.


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