Belarus oil restart 'soon'

Russian oil supplies to Belarus reportedly may resume next week after being halted on 1 January in a pricing row, Belarussian state-run news agency BelTA reported.

"Russian oil deliveries will be resumed next week," a source in a delegation that held talks in Moscow today was quoted as saying.

The meeting in Moscow between Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich was reported to have failed to resolve the stand-off, which has halted Russian oil supplies to Belarus and caused market jitters in Europe.

"After the talks with Vladimir (Putin), we ordered our deputy prime ministers, ministers, to ... resolve the outstanding issues of the fuel energy complex in coming days," Myasnikovich said after the meeting.

Traders have claimed the supply halt had also resulted in Minsk suspending diesel exports to Europe, although Belarus has denied this.

Meanwhile, supplies of Russian crude via Poland could be almost halved next month to 1.1 million tonnes due to maintenance at Poland's top refinery, PKN Orlen, adding to Russia's woes.


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