A subsidiary of "Belorusneft" has signed a contract with the Iranian NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company), as reported on the latter’s website. Additionally, talks are ongoing about a deal with Polish Beloil Polska on the supply of 600,000 barrels of oil. This will be the first purchase of Iranian oil by Minsk after the lifting of sanctions against Tehran last year.
The oil is expected to be delivered to Odessa, Ukraine or Ventspils, Latvia, where it will then travel to Belarus by rail.
Earlier, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko commissioned to find an alternative to Russian oil because of an oil and gas dispute with Moscow, which has lasted since the beginning of 2016. Minsk accused Moscow of unfair gas prices and began to pay less than the set price. Russia then lowered the duty-free supplies of oil to Belarus, on account of the underpayment for the gas and shortfall in delivery of petroleum products to Russia.
On February 16, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Arkady Dvorkovich announced that Russia and Belarus had agreed on the text of a report of the oil and gas issue, but a final agreement has yet to be reached.