Belarus interested in alternative energy supply routes, says Lukashenko

Turov, Belarus, September 2 (Interfax) - Projects aimed at diversifying energy supplies to Belarus, including the republic's possible participation in the Odesa-Brody project, should be given detailed consideration, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

"We cannot depend on one place in terms of deliveries of energy resources," Lukashenko told journalists during a working trip to the Gomel region on Wednesday.

"Diversifying supplies, exports and imports is classically standard," the president said.

The Odesa-Brody project "is not new," Lukashenko said.

"We will work in this area if it produces results and proves to be effective. But, so far, it is more profitable for us to receive hydrocarbons from Russia," he added.

"If this arrangement ceases to be profitable for us, we should begin exploring other options today," Lukashenko said.

That is why "we need to look for alternative sources, and we will do everything reasonably: Odesa-Brody, oil shipments from Venezuela to the Baltic region, deliveries from the Caspian area," the Belarusian leader said.

The Eastern Partnership invitation to Belarus envisioned not only the establishment of a free trade zone, but also cooperation with Belarus in energy transit issues, he said.

"If the Baltic states agree to accommodate our needs and display their interest in it, it will benefit us as well. And they [the Baltic countries] will be interested in maintaining their ports' operations. It does not run counter to anyone's interests - either Russian, Western or American," Lukashenko said.



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