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Baltics

Belarus Threatens To Import Oil From Baltics Instead Of Russia

Belarus, located in the hinterlands between the Russian Federation and the Baltic states of Central Europe, is pushing the Kremlin’s buttons over oil imports in order to gain leverage in negotiations with Moscow. The move is sure to ruffle Kremlin feathers.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko told reporters recently he may look to Poland or the Baltics as an alternative to bringing in oil from the east.

“We are preparing the northern route. I have openly informed the Russian government about it. Via Poland, via the Baltic states. There is a progress,” BELTA news agency cited the Belarussian president, reported The Baltic Times.

Lukashenko has resumed discussion on alternatives to the Russian oil after Minsk and Moscow have not been able to reach an agreement on the loss caused to Belarus by Russian tax changes and the contamination discovered in the oil pipeline. Minsk is also dissatisfied with the fact that Russia does not sell it natural gas for internal market prices.

Belarus imports 18 million tons a year of oil from the Russian Federation.

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1 comment

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Steven in Missouri, USA September 12, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Hopefully, this will be an opportunity for international business. One of the main initiatives of Putin was the Commonwealth of Independent States, or former members of the USSR which are in an economic pact. It doesn’t appear the Belarus is getting a very good deal from the east, so perhaps they can get a better deal from sources of the Baltics.
It seems odd however, that Germany is able to get seemingly great rates from the Nordstream pipeline under the Baltic, from I think Russia to Germany, but Belarus isn’t apparently getting as favorable a deal.
If Belarus can get favorable rates from the Baltics, they would be in a stronger bargaining position.
A similar issue, Ukraine in the CIS, or joining the EU, was the fuse that lit the Ukrainian crisis that is still an enormous problem that has not been resolved. Rather than economically, it was settled militarily. That is usually not a sustainable solution.
That isn’t to say that the EU is not having it’s share of problems as well, with Brexit on schedule for a hard exit for UK, I think the last of Oct.
The Parliament in UK is beyond dragging it’s feet, now actively digging in their heels, but it looks like there’s going to be a showdown. Either elections mean something, or they don’t. There was an election with the outcome being to leave the EU, but if they refuse to leave the EU, then why have elections at all.
There was nothing about a hard or soft exit on the ballot, as I understand it. It was either leave or stay.

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