OREANDA-NEWSThe presidents of Russia and Belarus, Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko, aren't yet negotiating the transportation of allegedly low-quality Russian oil through Belarus. "It is precisely on this subject that there are no talks at the level of heads of state now," said the press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, to journalists. He recommended to contact the Ministry of Energy for more detailed information on this topic.

On April 19, the Belarusian concern Belneftekhim announced a sharp decline in the quality of oil coming from Russia through the section of the trunk pipeline of OAO Gomeltransneft Druzhba. The Belarusian company said that the oil contained organochlorine compounds. The danger of such compounds is their high corrosivity. Separate samples showed the excess of the allowable rate of these substances 100 times. The Belarusian concern temporarily restricted the export of Russian oil products and demanded compensation from the Russian Transneft. The Russian side acknowledged the fact of the supply of substandard oil to Belarus. The Ministry of Energy, in turn, said that the deterioration in the quality of oil "is of a technical nature and is not related to the relationship between the two countries."

Earlier, one of the two largest oil refining state-owned enterprises of Belarus, the Mozyr Oil Refinery, reported the failure of “expensive equipment”. The breakdown is related to the quality of oil from Russia, the plant said.

Belarusian processors may suffer losses due to the tax maneuver conducted in Russia. It provides for a phased reduction of the export duty on oil to zero by 2024 and a parallel increase in the mineral extraction tax. Russia supplies oil to Belarus and other countries of the EAEU without duties at domestic prices. For Minsk, the Russian maneuver will lead to an increase in the price of Russian oil, which is refined at the country's refineries. Lukashenko said that because of the maneuver Belarus has lost almost $ 4.5 billion over the past three years, and by 2025 it could lose another $ 10.6 billion.