The Deputy Prime Minister Of Belarus Was Authorized To Discuss The Draft Oil Agreement With Kazakhstan
Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Yuri Nazarov was given the authority to hold negotiations with Kazakhstan on a draft intergovernmental agreement on the supply of oil and petroleum products to Minsk, according to a resolution of the Belarusian Council of Ministers posted on the national legal Internet portal on Saturday.
Earlier, Dmitry Krutoy, who at that time held the position of First Deputy Prime Minister, was authorized to hold negotiations with Kazakhstan on the same issue. Then Krutoy was appointed Deputy head of the presidential administration.
"Based on the decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus dated January 28, 2020 No. 27 "on the draft international Treaty," the Council of Ministers ... decides: to authorize the Deputy Prime Minister … Yuri V. Nazarov to conduct negotiations on the draft agreement between the government of the Republic of Belarus and the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan on trade and economic cooperation in the field of oil and petroleum products supplies to the Republic of Belarus, allowing, if necessary, to make changes to it that are not of a fundamental nature," resolution No. 536 of September 17 reads.
Nazarov is also authorized to sign an agreement with Kazakhstan "upon reaching an agreement within the approved project."
In early February, the Belarusian government stated that the agreement with Kazakhstan on the supply of oil and petroleum products is in a high state of readiness and will be signed "in the very near future." The Council of Ministers noted that Minsk is interested in duty-free oil supplies, which will bring it as close as possible to the cost of Russian raw materials. At the same time, the Belarusian side is counting on deliveries by pipeline transport.
In early March, Vice Minister of Trade and integration of Kazakhstan Kairat Torebayev said that Kazakhstan is ready to sell oil to Belarus at a price that includes export duties. According to Torebayev, if an agreement is concluded with Kazakhstan, Belarus will also have to use this export duty so that there is no re-export of oil from Kazakhstan to the European Union through its territory.
Belarus is currently diversifying its oil supplies to its two refineries amid periodic price disagreements with its primary and traditional supplier, Russia. While continuing to buy Russian oil with deliveries via the Druzhba trunk pipeline and by rail, Belarus is also working with alternative routes for transporting raw materials to its refineries. Oil is delivered by sea through the ports of Klaipeda and Odessa. In particular, Minsk has been buying oil from Azerbaijan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United States since the beginning of 2020.