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2020.02.20 15:45

Belarus orders two more oil tankers via Lithuania's Klaipėda

BNS2020.02.20 15:45

Two more tankers with oil for Belarus are scheduled to arrive in the Lithuanian port of Klaipėda in March.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda previously said Vilnius is helping Minsk retain its sovereignty amid the standoff with Moscow over oil tariffs. Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian leader, called for a third of the country's oil exports to come via Baltic ports, as he threatened to tap Moscow's transit pipeline.

Read more: Belarus threatens to tap Moscow pipeline, as Lithuania offers Minsk alternatives

The Belarusian oil export company BNK said they are awaiting the tankers on March 3-4 and March 13-15, according to Martynas Burba, the spokesman of the state-owned Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways).

The two ships will be bringing 85,000 tons of crude oil each, Burba told BNS.

Orinta Barkauskaitė, the head of communication at Klaipėdos Nafta (Klaipėda Oil), told BNS it’s still unclear where the oil will come.

Lietuvos Geležinkeliai plans to transport 100-150 railcars of oil per day from Klaipėda to the Belarusian border.

Read more: Belarus calls for regular oil imports via Baltics as first shipment arrives in Lithuania

The first tanker with Norwegian oil for Belarus arrived in Klaipėda in late January.

Russian oil flows to Belarus have decreased significantly since the beginning of the year, as Minsk and Moscow failed to agree terms for oil supplies for 2020.

Lithuanian intelligence said in a report earlier this month that "Russia's negotiations with Belarus on energy cooperation and deeper integration shift to political pressure".

US and Lithuanian officials previously said they could offer LNG imports for Belarus via the terminal in Klaipėda.

Read more: Lithuania nudges Belarus out of Russia's energy grip