Belarus wants to step up the talks on the delivery of oil from Kazakhstan, president Alyaksandr Lukashenka said at Thursday’s meeting with Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belarus Yermukhamet Yertysbayev.
“This year we will mostly complete the modernization of oil processing enterprises. Therefore, it will be easier to purchase oil on global markets. In this regard, we are now holding talks and we would like to step up the talks on the delivery of Kazakhstani oil to Belarus. I think we can solve this issue. It is important for Belarus and Kazakhstan (there are no problems here), and for Russia as far as transit is concerned. Russia is a member of the EAEU. I think we will agree on some oil deliveries from Kazakhstan with a country which is close for us,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka.
In addition, he stressed that Belarus-Kazakhstan trade should be balanced out. Alyalsandr Lukashenka confirmed Belarus’ readiness to buy plain steel, scrap iron, nonferrous metals from Kazakhstan.
A month ago, a scandal surrounding the supply of substandard Russian oil broke out in Belarus. On April, the Belneftekhim concern reported a sharp deterioration in the quality of oil flowing through the pipeline from Russia. With this in mind, on April 21, the Belneftekhim concern decided to temporarily limit exports of petroleum products. On April 22, the Mazyr Oil Refinery reported that poor quality Russian oil had led to the failure of expensive equipment. Due to poor quality oil, Poland and Ukraine refused to accept it and suspended transit through their territory.
According to estimates of the Russian Vedomosti, the total damage to Belarus from poor-quality Russian oil can be from $ 271.3 million to $ 435.3 million.
Transneft recognized oil contamination and stated that it would solve the problem as soon as possible. Later, the company suggested that the oil products could have been deliberately contaminated. On April 7, four people were detained in the case of the pollution of raw materials in the Druzhba pipeline.