MOSCOW Oct 25 Russia may cut oil supplies to
its ally Belarus if the country keeps using the crude, imported
on favourable terms, for profitable oil products exports to
third countries, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
"We still cannot reach an agreement (with Belarus) on joint
standards to be applied to custom duties," Putin said in a
televised question-and-answer session.
"We are really worried by some export and import issues when
we look at the volume of our crude oil supplied to Belarussian
oil refineries, the republic's actual consumption and then at
the volume of oil products that are sold abroad (from Belarus)."
Putin said Russia was now seeking to "establish a normal
dialogue with our Belarussian colleagues".
But he added: "If we fail to reach an agreement, we will be
forced to impose some limitations which we would not want to
do." He did not elaborate.
Russian crude supplies to neighbouring Belarus amounted to
4.5 million tonnes in the third quarter of this year.
Russian crude oil pipeline monopoly Transneft TRNF_q.RTS
said earlier this month that, due to an oil leak, it had cut
pressure in part of the Druzhba (Friendship) export pipeline in
Europe, reducing its supplies to Belarus.
Other Russian crude suppliers to Belarus include LUKOIL
(LKOH.MM), Rosneft (ROSN.MM), Surgutneftegas (SNGS.MM), TNK-BP
TNBPI.RTS, Slavneft and Tatneft TATN3.MM.
Last month Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko
threatened to sever all ties with Moscow if it acted on its
promise to sharply increase prices for Russian natural gas
delivered to Belarus.