Minsk, Moscow discuss oil terms

MOSCOW, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Oil and natural gas supplies are on the agenda for a meeting between the Russian and Belarusian prime ministers Thursday in Moscow, Minsk said.

Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich paid a working visit to Moscow to meet with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Minsk said "a number of pressing issues" were on the agenda, including oil deliveries and the price of natural gas in 2011, Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reports.

Russian oil companies halted oil shipments to Belarus at the beginning of the year until new contracts are signed between the two countries.

Russia sends most of its oil through the Druzhba pipeline across Belarus. Moscow is looking for alternative transit networks to avoid political sensitive issues with transit nations but hasn't indicated energy supplies to its European consumers are affected.

Belarus and Ukraine are eyeing new oil supplies to transfer through the Odessa-Brody pipeline.

Ukrainian energy company Ukrtransnafta said it anticipates more than 570,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil at the Odessa port. The oil was purchased by Belarus and is to be transported by rail to Ukrainian terminals.


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