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Lukashenka Offers Russia Refineries-For-Gas Swap


Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka at the Zaslavl residence on the outskirts of Minsk in May

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka at the Zaslavl residence on the outskirts of Minsk in May

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka says his country is prepared to sell its oil refineries to Russia but in exchange wants rights to join in natural-gas extraction projects in Russia.

Belarus has two oil refineries and Russian companies have shown an interest in purchasing them -- particularly the Mozyr refinery with a capacity to process some 95,000 barrels of oil per day.

Lukashenka says a deal could be reached but Belarus would want rights, as a foreigner, to help develop gas fields in Russia, and therefore receive gas at a lower price and receive a discount on oil processed at Belarusian refineries owned by Russia.

Lukashenka, who was speaking during a news conference in Minsk for Russian-language media outlets, praised the Russia-Belarus Union as "an example" of integration.

Based on reporting by Interfax and FSU Oil & Gas Monitor
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