Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Lithuania, Oil, Port

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 16.06.2019, 08:08

Lukashenko beefing up negotiating position against Moscow, Lithuanian parlt rep

BC, Vilnius, 11.01.2019.Print version
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is only trying to beef up its negotiating position against Moscow, Virgilijus Poderys, chairman of the Lithuanian Seimas' Energy Commission said on Thursday after the Belarusian leader once again spoke about the possibility to find an alternative to Russian oil via the Baltic states, informed LETA/BNS.

"These are those yearly games probably (by the Belarusian leader) as I see them. He's playing that card of making friends with Europe, and whether he has the possibility to bring it in from the Black Sea or via the Baltic Sea. So these things keep repeating, but that freedom of maneuver of his is getting narrower and narrower," Poderys told.

He doubts that the Belarusian leader will be successful in his bid to get what he wants since Minsk cannot yet identify the existing or planned alternatives to Russian oil.

"When he has real possibilities, that second pipeline from the other side, an operating oil pipeline, which he doesn't have right now, nor real projects, otherwise it can only be viewed as air moving," the Lithuanian MP said.

According to Poderys, Lithuania should not close doors on possibilities, including the transit of energy resources to Belarus, if conditions changed.

"In general, speaking about the transit of energy resources to Belarus, be it gas or oil, I wouldn’t discount that possibility in the near future. I'm talking in principle here. The existing leaders of the eastern countries will go at some point or their policies will change, I am sure of that. And we should always have such open possibilities in our mind," Poderys said.

Earlier in the day, Lukashenko hinted about the possibility for Belarusian oil processing plants to import crude oil via the Baltic States' seaports. Currently, Russia is the sole provider of crude oil to both Belarusian oil processing plants which receive 18 mln tons a year.

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