US sends oil to Belarus, looking for to diversify from Russia

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Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko offers a speech throughout a army parade that marked the 75th anniversary of the allied victory over Nazi Germany, in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, May 9, 2020. (Sergei Gapon/Pool through AP)

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — The United States has dispatched a cargo of oil to Belarus, which is looking for to diversify its provides after a value dispute with Russia, the Belarusian authorities stated Friday.

The 80,000-ton cargo is anticipated to arrive on the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda in June and from there’ll despatched by rail to Belarus.

Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei stated cooperation with the U.S. on oil is “a component of vitality safety.”

Tensions between Belarus and Russia have been heightened in current months by stalled negotiations over deeper integration of their economies. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused the Kremlin of utilizing oil provides as leverage to push for an eventual merger of the 2 international locations.

Belarus had lengthy relied on discounted oil from Russia, however most shipments from there halted in January after disagreement over costs. Belarus subsequently obtained oil shipments from Norway, Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia.

Russia and Belarus later reached a compromise settlement and Russian state oil firm Rosneft stated Friday it anticipated to ship about 9 million tons to Belarus this 12 months — about half the quantity Belarus had purchased in earlier years.