Belarus postpones signing of oil products transshipment agreement with Russia

According to the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus, the agreement on the transshipment of Belarusian oil products in Russian ports may be executed after February 15. At the same time the agency says it is ready to sign the agreement with the Ministry of Transport of Russia, Interfax reports.

Ministry of Transport of Russia reported last week that an agreement on the handling of Belarusian goods in Russian ports would be signed on February 15. But all of a sudden the Belarusian side said it could not sign the documents yet.

“Currently, the domestic procedures are being completed to prepare for the signing of an agreement between Belarus and Russia on the cooperation in the field of transportation and transshipment of oil products. In this regard, the anticipated meeting will be postponed,” said spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport Hanna Kurylionak.

The Ministry of Transportation adds that the contracts with the Russian operators of sea port terminals in St. Petersburg and Ust-Luga and the railway operator are not yet ready to be signed together with the agreement.

Ministry of Transport of Russia reports that the Belarusian companies will carry 9.8 million tons in Russian ports during 2021-2023. We are talking about the supply of fuel oil, gasoline and some other petroleum products. For the Belarusian side, the contract with Russian ports is not as profitable as with Lithuanian ports. But earlier, Lukashenka threatened that he would give up ports in the Baltics because the policies of these countries are, in his view, hostile to Belarus.

“I instructed the government to submit a proposal to redirect all trade flows from Lithuanian ports to other ports. Then we’ll see how they will live. Thirty percent of the Lithuanian budget is formed by our freight traffic through Lithuania. What else do they need? They are too greedy. So let’s show them their place,” he said.

In turn, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said that the refusal of transit of goods through Lithuanian ports would first of all affect Belarus itself.