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Russia Restarts Oil Supplies To Belarus

Russia says it has restarted oil supplies to refineries in Belarus.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is quoted today by Interfax news agency as saying: "We yesterday started shipments to Belarusian refineries."

Belarus has confirmed that the country was receiving oil from Russia. Belarus oil refinery "Belnaftakhim" spokeswoman Marina Kasciuchenka, speaking today about the ongoing oil-supply talks with Russia, said, "Everything remains as it was: supplies of oil continue to come in. Talks are continuing regarding the tariffs."

Meanwhile, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he hoped to reach a deal with Belarus over oil supplies in the near future.

On January 3, Belarus said Moscow's demand that it should pay a higher tax on the bulk of Russian oil shipment contradicted an agreement on customs union signed late last year.

Today Belarus' state power company "Belenergo" warned Moscow that it could retaliate by interrupting electricity transfers to Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad region, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, which both neighbor Belarus.

with agency reports