Why Lukashenko is "helping" Ukraine with oil products

Belarus has suddenly reduced the supply of oil to Ukraine by one third. While officials explained it by the need to conduct repair works at the Mozyr Refinery, the staff is surprised. 

"Just as I thought we would, we are having the major overhaul at the intended time in September. It is the usual way of technical maintenance of the unit refining oil. There are no surprises. It is a normal procedure," Mozyr refinery worker Yury Shwed tells Euroradio. 

I called him the second time. After the first call with questions about reducing deliveries of Belarusian oil products due to repairs at the refinery, the chairman of the local independent trade union Shwed decided to double-check the information with the people who are directly involved in maintenance. He said that in August the plant would be running according to plan - with no repairs and stops. .

Rumors of problems at the refinery are suddenly spread by ... "Belarusian Oil Company". In late July its Ukrainian representative office sends to Ukrainian partners notification e-mails informing them about reduction in supply by 20-30%. The reason being unexpected repairs at Mozyr refinery. Almost half of its production is sold to Ukraine. 

Deficit of petroleum products for our neighbors to the south now, to put it mildly, is not a very desirable thing. The country is in deep economic, political and military crisis as it is, and then they get a sudden "gift" from the Belarusians. Considering that relations with Russia are not so good at the moment. As a result, it was Petro Poroshenko  who decided to solve the problem with gasoline and diesel fuel. In the evening of August 4, he called directly to the head of Belarus, and ... the problem was solved in a few minutes.

"Aliaksandr Lukashenka stressed that Belarus understands the severity of this issue in view of the harvest campaign, therefore, despite the domestic needs, it will assist Ukraine in providing its economy with oil," reported the official website of Belarus leader on his conversation with Poroshenko.

Belarusian Oil Company still refuses to comment. They said that the situation is still being resolved, and that they will be ready to give an answer within a few days.

Meanwhile, the goodwill of the Belarusian leader Aliaksandr Lukashenka's relations with Ukrainians suddenly causes outrage in ... the Russian State Duma. Some hotheads even require to deprive Belarus of Russian oil. Roman Khudyakov, a deputy from the Liberal Democratic Party, believes that by selling fuel to Ukraine we are funding the "war against Donetsk and Lugansk."

"If Belarus takes this step and will, in fact, finance the war against Donetsk and Lugansk, then we , in my opinion, should completely stop any supply of fuel and lubricants to the territory of that State," said Hudyakov on the air of Govorit Moskva radio. 

The reaction of the official Minsk to such sharp accusations is still unknown. But it is known that it was Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev who called Belarus leader after Poroshenko. They also spoke about Ukraine. It has been a hot topic with the CIS leaders recently. 

Meanwhile, Yury Shwed from Mozyr refinery said that rumors about problems at the plant reached the company's employees. They read them on the Internet.

"Maybe if there comes up a need which would force us to do repairs earlier ... But this is called malfunction. It is unpredictable... You are not the first one to have called me, by the way, with questions about overhaul in August. Even people from the plant asked me about it after reading it online."

But if you don't need to repair the plant, why create problems with the supply of petroleum products to Ukrainians? Administration of the refinery which belongs in large part to Russians may know the answer. Or advisers to Aliaksandr Lukashenka who solved the problem so easily. Of which the state Belarusian media immediately reported. There is another reason, which is very far from geopolitics. The reason for the lack of fuel for sale to Ukraine can be ... the battle for the harvest which this year turned out to be just wonderful. And it requires a lot of fuel to get the crops in.