Belarus plans to buy 30% of oil via Ukraine - Lukashenko.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that Belarus plans to buy 30% of oil via Ukraine, BelTA has reported.

According to the report, he said this at a meeting to discuss ways to make the export of oil products more effective.

"Indeed, there is no complete alternative to Russian oil now. But we have to diversify [imports] as we've agreed. We have to take steps and get 30-40% of oil from the Russian Federation. We should import about 30% from the Baltic states and about 30% via Ukraine – it's been tried and tested. Kazakhstan may supply oil to us if Russia agrees to it. It is odd that our ally refuses to allow another ally of ours to supply oil to us," Lukashenko said.

He also noted that the economic conditions in which Belarus has to work are getting more complicated.

"Due to the introduction of the tax maneuver in the Russian Federation revenues of Belarus' central state budget are unavoidably going down and the performance of our oil refineries is getting worse. The oil refineries are having problems with financing their ongoing operation and – which is also important – their investment programs designed to step up production," Lukashenko said.

Belarus had already purchased 80,000 tonnes of Norwegian oil for refining at Naftan.

On January 1, Russia stopped supplying oil to Belarus because of differences in the price of raw materials. The government and refineries then began to look for alternative supply routes, including from Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

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