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Belarus eager to raise Russian oil transportation tariffs by 21.7%

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BELTA

Belarus wants to raise oil transportation tariffs by 21.7% on August 1. According to calculations, such fees will allow Gomeltransneft Druzhba to reimburse the costs incurred from dirty Russian oil that had entered the Druzhba pipeline. According to Interfax.by, it follows from a letter dated July 1 to Transneft where the Belarusian company asks the Russian monopoly to coordinate the growth of tariffs.

The letter says that as a result of the bad quality oil getting into the Belarusian main pipeline system, the transportation of raw materials to Adamava and Brody was suspended. So far, the transportation in the direction of Adamava has been carried out partially. Due to such force majeure, the Belarusian company lost $23.7 million. The losses were calculated taking into account additional revenues from oil transportation in the reverse direction.

Consequently, the volumes of transportation decreased and the level of current tariffs does not allow to cover operational costs linked to the maintenance of the main oil pipeline facilities, as well as the implementation of the  technical re-equipment program in 2019.

The Russian Transneft has not yet commented on the proposals of the Belarusian side.

In April, the Russian oil polluted with chlorides entered the pipeline system in Belarus. In this regard, the transit of raw materials to Europe was stopped on April 24. Supplies of clean oil later resumed, but Belarus still has to clear its pipeline system of substandard oil and this process will only end in mid-August.

The annual volume of Russian oil transit through Belarus is about 50 million tons.

The proposal to raise tariffs was made in mid-April, and Minsk explained it by the need to preserve the environmental safety of pipelines. However, Russia did not support this proposal, citing its lack of justification. Then the issue of tariff increase was overshadowed after the polluted oil incident.