Russia may cut oil supplies to Belarus - media

Russia may cut oil supplies to Belarus - media

Russia is planning to curtail oil supplies to Belarus in the first quarter of 2017 from 4.5 mln tonnes to 4 mln tonnes after the sides failed to hammer out a solution to the gas dispute at the end of 2016, Kommersant writes on Monday citing sources familiar with the situation. 

Apparently, Moscow will go ahead with cutting oil supplies to force Minsk to pay off its $400 mln gas debt to Russia.

The Belarusian side has voiced discontent over this approach to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. If the oil supplies remain at this level, Belarus may receive 16 mln tonnes of Russian oil instead of 18 mln tonnes by the year-end, TASS reports.

Minsk expects that the dispute with Moscow will be solved within the first quarter: the Belarusian authorities introduced new tariffs on transit of Russian oil through the country’s territory only for that period, the paper says.