31 Dec 2019 20:05

Medvedev, Lukashenko agree to continue working to sign contracts for delivery of fossil fuel to Belarus - Russian PM's spokesman (Part 2)

MOSCOW. Dec 31 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has had a telephone conversation with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko concerning the delivery of fossil fuels to Belarus.

"Medvedev and Lukashenko agreed to continue work toward concluding contracts for the delivery of fossil fuels to Belarus," Oleg Osipov, spokesperson for Medvedev, told journalists on Tuesday.

The press service for the Russian government said Medvedev and Lukashenko "discussed a number of aspects of bilateral cooperation in the trade-economic and energy sectors and exchanged New Year's and Christmas greetings."

Minsk said Lukashenko had reached an agreement with Medvedev and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on concrete supplies of oil to Belarus in the absence of oil and gas contracts.

"Working issues were discussed in continuation of the talks with Vladimir Putin and in view of the fact that there are still no signed contracts that would regulate work in the oil and gas sphere from January 1 onwards. The discussion has resulted in an agreement on organizing a specific effort on shipping fossil fuel resources to Belarus," the Belarusian presidential press service said in a statement quoted by the state news agency BelTA on Tuesday.

"Alexander Lukashenko discussed the same issues on the phone with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak [...] That was about specific schedules and companies that will be shipping oil to Belarus," the statement said.

As reported earlier, Lukashenko has tasked the government with finalizing within a few hours talks on oil shipments to Belarus by Russian oil companies. Lukashenko has also ordered within the next few days to begin alternative imports to Russian shipments of oil.