Belarus Sees No Alternative to Russian Oil Supplies Yet

Text of report by Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS

Minsk, 3 September: Belarus has been considering alternative oil supplies, but at the moment it finds it economically reasonable to buy oil from Russia. "It is still not feasible economically to supply oil other than Russian; Russian supplies are more beneficial," the deputy chairman of the Belnaftakhim [state petrochemicals] concern, Uladzimir Volkaw, said today at a meeting with journalists.

Meanwhile, he noted that Belnaftakhim had been considering the possibility of alternative oil supplies. "At present, we are holding consultations with companies using ports (including Baltic ones) and oil pipelines," Uladzimir Volkaw said.

The energy security blueprint up to 2020 envisages that the country should be provided with supplies alternative to Russian ones to an amount of approximately 4m tonnes (20 per cent of the current volume of purchases) through Baltic and Black seaports by 2009.

In particular, the possibility of oil supplies not only from Russia but also from other countries, is being considered, in particular from Azerbaijan across Ukraine and from Venezuela through Lithuanian ports.

Russian oil supplies to Belarus in the current year will amount to 21.5m tonnes.

Originally published by ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in Russian 1030 3 Sep 08.



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