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Russia may start exporting Belarusian oil products in 2021

Moscow — Russian deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said Jan. 4 that export of Belarusian oil products via Russian may begin in 2021.

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"I think 2021 is a very realistic timeframe for deliveries to begin," Novak said in an interview aired on Russian business channel RBC.

In September Novak said that deliveries of Belarusian oil products could reach 4-6 million mt, considering spare capacity at ports in North Western Russia including Primorsk, Saint Petersburg and Ust-Luga.

Russia and Belarus have been discussing exports via Russia since September, after Lithuania imposed sanctions on Belarus. The measures were introduced in response to allegations that presidential elections were not free and fair, and a subsequent crackdown on protests against the result, which saw Alexander Lukashenko remain in office.

In mid December the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda said that Belarusian Oil Company was temporarily suspending oil products exports via the port. Belarus has also used Klaipeda to receive deliveries of crude from alternative suppliers, including Norway, Saudi Arabia and the USA in 2020, when Russia cut deliveries to Belarus over a dispute on supply terms.