The issue of exporting Kazakh oil to Belarus may be negotiated in the coming two weeks, Kazakhstan’s Energy Minister Kanat Bozumbayev told reporters on Tuesday.
“It is just the beginning, the [Belarusian] ambassador has contacted the ministry and shown the interest, but that is all so far,” he said.
According to the top official, the Belarusian delegation iis to arrive in Kazakhstan next week.
At the recent meeting with Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belarus Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, Alyaksandr Lukashenka suggested that the talks on the delivery of oil from Kazakhstan should be stepped up.
In turn, Yertysbaev said that Kazakhstan was ready to supply oil to Belarus, but the issue of transit should be agreed with the Kremlin as the pipeline going through the territory of the Russian Federation.
Ambassador of Belarus to Kazakhstan Anatol Nichkasau has confirmed that the countries are negotiating about oil supplies, as well as the delivering and processing of oil products on commission.
“The Belarusian leadership has already given instructions concerning the supply of petroleum products for processing in Belarus on the basis of a tolling agreement. It is not only about oil, but also a number of petroсhemicals that may be made into products of higher quality at our enterprises,” the diplomat stressed.
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.