Reuters reported that Belarus Oil Company was negotiating Venezuela crude imports via Latvia's ports of Ventspils and Riga.
Officials said Belarus plans to import up to 10 million metric tons of Venezuela crude through Ukrainian and Baltic ports next year and cutting imports of Russian oil. Two test loadings of crude have been delivered to Belarus via Estonian and Lithuanian ports and Belarus wants a deal with Latvian ports.
Mr Alexander Demidov deputy director-general of Belarus Oil Company said "I hope those negotiations we have with Latvia will conclude positively as well. We are negotiating with Ventspils and Riga."
Mr Ivan Shcherbo Belarussian Transportation Minister said Minsk may import crude via Latvian ports if it gets good transportation rates. He said that "It's all up to transportation tariffs, adding that no long-term contracts on crude transit have been signed yet and crude import distribution via Baltic and Ukrainian ports has not been decided yet."
He also said Belarus would prefer to import crude via the Ventspils-Polotsk pipeline which has not been used for crude since 2006. He added that "I hope we can get the pipe running again. Belarussian refiners can process up to 22 million tonnes of crude per year."
(Sourced from Reuters)