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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