Promising possibilities of joint-development projects

President of Russian oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, visits Minsk
By Sergey Sokolov

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko recently met his distinguished guest, noting, “First of all, I’d like to thank you publicly for adhering to certain principles regarding Russian obligations for deliveries of oil to our plants. Of course, today, Rosneft owns nearly half of Mozyr Oil Refinery’s shares; it has its own markets, which are sizeable. In addition, in honesty, I’ve ordered the First Deputy Premier of Belarus, Vladimir Semashko, to sign contracts on the delivery of oil from the world market at world prices. We had no choice, because we couldn’t stop the refinery, it would have caused huge damages. Therefore, your statement was opportune. I’ve also ordered the Government and Belneftekhim to work on the delivery of your oil for processing to our refineries. I think, we’ll agree terms.”

The President added, “I’m sure that you don’t want any other oil products, processed from somebody else’s oil, to enter your traditional market. I don’t think that we should do so. We benefit from working with you, as is obvious.”

Mr. Lukashenko noted that world oil prices are very high at present, so alternative deliveries would reduce processors’ profits. “Losses, of course, are high, if we take into consideration that the crisis storming the world today is also connected with that potash mess. We don’t need any disputes.” He suggested discussing other promising directions of co-operation with Rosneft, saying, “We’re extremely interested in co-operation with Rosneft, which has a huge empire. We don’t want to be limited to just oil refining and selling of oil products. Such an empire needs support, starting from foodstuffs and finishing with equipment. Therefore, we ask you to consider us as suppliers of goods needed for your manufactures and the support of your company’s operation. I’ve asked the Government to work on this direction of co-operation.”

The President reminded that, several years ago, Belarus enjoyed successful similar co-operation with Lukoil. “We agreed, seven years ago, for them to process oil in our country. I asked them to consider what equipment, foodstuffs, and special clothes we could make for them and our trade volumes expanded considerably.”
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