Moscow, Minsk sign intergovernmental agreement on transshipping Belarusian oil products through Russian ports
MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) - Russia and Belarus on Friday signed an agreement on organizing transshipment of Belarusian oil products through Russian ports, an Interfax correspondent reported from the signing ceremony.
Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev and Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Alexei Avramenko signed the document.
"The agreement is being signed for three years, but its validity is practically unlimited because it envisages automatic prolongation. Today, Russian ports are ready to conduct transshipment of Belarusian oil products in the volume of 9.8 million tonnes," Savelyev told reporters following the agreement's signing.
"According to our arrangement, for the current year we have determined 3.5 million tonnes of these, given that the year has already started - we are ready to ship around 2 million tonnes [the minimum volume guaranteed by the Belarusian side] together with our Belarusian partners," he said.
Avramenko, in turn, said: "we worked fairly hard in the past few days before signing the agreement in terms of attaining the signing of relevant contracts. I am pleased that we managed to reach agreement, and accordingly it is planned to sign corresponding commercial contracts. Primarily, this is our exporters, who export oil products. The agreement will give a significant push and will provide additional opportunities to open up an alternative route for delivering oil products, primarily exports. Needless to say, our companies - that is, Belarusian Oil Company, New Oil Company, Mozyr Oil Refinery, and Naftan - are keen on implementing this project."
"There is absolute price parity with Baltic ports, which is doubtlessly mutually beneficial for both of our countries for these projects' implementation," Avramenko said.