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Russia's 'dirty' oil cost Belneftakhim $800 million in lost exports

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Belarusian Economy Minister Dzmitry Kruty / BELTA

Belarusian petrochemical state monopoly Belnaftakhim saw its oil exports reduced by $800 million against last year due to Russia's contamination of the Druzhba pipeline earlier in April, Belarus Economy Minister Dzmitry Kruty said in an interview to the Belarus 1 state TV channel.

"For objective reasons, i.e. contaminated oil, we had to use oil that we extract locally to keep our refineries running. Disrupted supplies of Russian oil have affected our export statistics this year - minus $800 million against last year. Obviously, it was very difficult to cover this gap at the cost of other sectors," the minister admitted.

Euroradio reported earlier that on 19 April Belnaftakhim detected sudden deterioration of Russian crude oil's quality in the Druzhba pipeline. Both Belarusian refineries - in Mazyr and Navapolack - had to reduce their load and suffered losses. Several other countries served by the Druzhba pipeline - Poland, Germany and Ukraine - would refuse from contaminated Russian oil. 

Clean oil reached the border of Belarus via the Druzhba pipeline on 2 June only.