Russia's Putin to seek solution to Belarus oil row

MOSCOW, Jan 20 (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will meet his Belarussian counterpart on Thursday in a bid to resolve an oil row that has already cut oil product exports to Europe, unsettling the trading community.

Russian companies stopped supplying crude oil to Belarussian refineries, which have a daily capacity of 360,000 barrels, on Jan. 1 as the two sides were unable to strike a pricing agreement.

The spat has already resulted in Minsk suspending diesel exports to Europe, traders say, although Belarus insists supplies have not been cut.

Russian crude oil flows to Poland and Germany via Belarus along the Druzhba pipeline remain intact. Putin will meet his Belarussian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich on Thursday in Russia to discuss "bilateral cooperation in the energy sphere", among other issues, the government website said.

Putin, the most influential political figure in Russia, has been Moscow's last resort when it was unable to strike gas and oil deals with its neighbours in recent years. He brokered gas deals with Ukraine and a similar agreement with Belarus. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin and Jessica Bachman; editing by Matthew Jones)


Partners: Social Network