Minsk And Moscow Agree On Road Map To Resume Oil Transit, Including To EU Countries

Belarus has agreed on the draft roadmap to resume oil transit from and has begun its implementation, Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Lyashenko informed journalists on Sunday, 19 May.

Supply to Belarusian refineries and transit to European states.

A group of specialists prepared the plan after high-level talks in Moscow on 16 May, the official said.

The road map provides for the supply of raw materials to Belarusian refineries and the resumption of oil transit to European countries. It was agreed at the level of Deputy Prime Ministers of both states.

Belarus has already started implementing the plan, Lyashenko added.

According to him, Belarus proposed to step up oil delivery to Naftan refinery as soon as possible “without linking this step to others”. “We informed our Russian colleagues that the Belarusian side is ready to accept a bigger supply for processing,” he said.

Earlier, Lyashenko estimated the equipment damage at Mozyr oil refinery caused by the dirty oil at $30 million. The compensation for the lost revenue from the halt in oil transit remains unsolved.

Russia said it’s ready to pay compensation to all countries that would prove losses incurred because of the bad oil. However, there are issues regarding compensation for damage to the Belarusian refinery.

Bad oil timeline

On 19 April, Belarus state oil company Belneftekhim announced a “sharp deterioration” of the quality of the Russian oil transiting through the Druzhba pipeline.

On 22 April, the Mozyr refinery declared that poor-quality Russian oil led to the failure of expensive equipment.

On 23 April, Belarus suspended the export of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltic countries. Belneftekhim stated that the polluted product had reached Europe and Ukraine.

On 24 April, the Belarusian refinery Naftan reported the renewal of quality oil pumping along the northern branch of the pipeline. At the Mozyr refinery, the situation remains unchanged.

Poland halted imports of Russian oil on 25 April, Ukraine – on 26 April.

Russia promised to transit oil of good quality to Belarus at the beginning of May. A criminal case was started in Russia.