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Lukashenka Proposes Kazakhstan Ship Oil To Belarus

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has proposed opening talks with Kazakhstan on possible oil shipments to Belarus, the state-run Belta news agency reported on May 23.

Russia halted oil flows through the Russian Druzhba pipeline in April after contaminated oil was discovered, sending shock waves through global oil markets.

Speaking at a meeting with Kazakhstan's ambassador in Belarus, Lukashenka said Minsk would like to diversify oil deliveries for its refineries, Belta reported.

Yermukhamet Yertysbayev, the Kazakh ambassador to Belarus, told Lukashenka that Kazakhstan was ready to supply Belarus with oil but that agreement with Russia was needed first, according to Belta.

Meanwhile, pipeline operator Transpetrol announced on May 23 that Russian crude oil flows into Slovakia via Druzhba had resumed a day earlier.

The pipeline carries oil from Russia and Kazakhstan through Belarus to refineries in Poland, Germany, and Slovakia.

Earlier this week, the Belarusian state energy company Belneftekhim said it would take two months to resume oil transit through the Druzhba pipeline after the contamination by Russian oil.

The company added there were currently 1.2 million tons of tainted oil in Belarus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the contamination of Russian oil supplies had caused “very serious” damage to his country's reputation as an oil exporter, and to Russia’s oil infrastructure.

The Russian oil giant Transneft has accused a small private company of being responsible for the contamination that caused the shutdown.

Based on reporting by Belta and Reuters

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