Presidents of Russia and Belarus unable to reach agreement on oil
Belarus will not receive discounts on Russian oil supplies. According to Euroradio, such is the outcome of the talks between the presidents of the two countries, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, on February 7 in Sochi.
After the talks, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak said that Russia will continue to supply gas to Belarus on the terms of 2019.
At the same time, it was not possible to come to an agreement on the main problem that arose between the countries: the new agreement on the supply of Russian oil to Belarus.
“Today we cannot drastically change the conditions for regulating our oil industry: you know, crude oil prices are set by the market, but not administratively regulated,” Kozak said.
At the same time, the Russian government promised to facilitate negotiations between Belarus and Russian oil companies.
Kozak also added that Belarus and Russia will continue consultations on integration issues.
No integration – no oil
From January 1, Russia stopped supplying oil to Belarus’s oil refineries because before the New Year the two countries did not sign the corresponding new contract.
The main problem was the issue of the price of Russian oil. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that he is personally dealing with this issue, but so far to no avail.
Refining Russian oil and selling petroleum products for export is an important source of income for the Belarusian economy. The state of which directly depends on the price of raw materials.
In December 2019, Putin and Lukashenko held two meetings dedicated to deepening the integration of their countries. It was expected that agreements would be signed on including the establishment of a common parliament and government. However, this ended with a statement by Lukashenko that he was not going to compromise the country’s independence and unite with Russia.
At the same time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during an unprecedented visit to Belarus on February 1 said that the United States “are ready to provide Belarus with oil.”