Oil from Azerbaijan to Belarus: expediency or political bargaining?

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Нефть из Азербайджана для Белоруссии: целесообразность или политический торг?

Belarus has bought a batch of Azerbaijan’s oil delivery via Ukraine. According to information published on the official website of the Odessa seaport, last week I arrived at the port with a tanker and 84.7 tons of Azerbaijani oil destined for the Mozyr oil refinery.

In the company “Belneftekhim”, which owns the plant, confirmed that this oil is designed for Mozyr oil refinery. “Belarus is considering various options of oil supplies in connection with the underutilization of the Belarusian refineries Russian raw materials”, — said supply, the press service of the concern. It is not clear — this is a one-time action to cover the current needs or the supply will be long term. The Belarusian company is not yet explained.

It should be noted that the second option as it is impossible by the way would suit Ukraine. The transshipment and transit of “black gold” for the Belarusian oil refineries can earn good money. In addition, under the ongoing confrontation, including in the economy, with Russia, it could bring serious political dividends.

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But here’s the thing: given the deplorable state of the Ukrainian Railways, and it is this transport plan to deliver oil to Belarus, the transit can do not just expensive, but very expensive, unless, of course, that all the oil will reach the destination. The pipeline, which would pump the “black gold” at Belarusian oil refineries, remains empty. The so-called “technical” oil that no one else can fill, and, apparently, no one is going to fill.

In General, according to most experts, it all comes down to the fact that this one-time delivery. And to the real economy, it has little relationship. The main thing here – political bargaining. This is indicated by the fact that the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko was informed about a tanker going from Azerbaijan to Odessa, 7 Oct. That is, the corresponding contract was concluded before, in the midst of the dispute between Moscow and Minsk, who later, apparently, was settled.

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Recall, this is not the first case of political bargaining, which uses the leadership of Belarus, in attempts to force Russia to give discounts on energy supplies. In particular, in 2010-2011 at the Belarusian oil refineries was delivered about 1,400 tonnes of Venezuelan oil. And no one in Minsk did not begin to reckon with insane transportation costs.

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