MINSK, April 27. /TASS/. The Presidents of Belarus and Russia, Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin, during a meeting in Beijing, discussed the issue of supplying low-quality oil to Belarusian refineries, Head of the administration of the Belarusian leader Natalya Kochanova said on Saturday.
«Yesterday, Alexander Lukashenko met with Vladimir Putin. The Russian President assured that this issue will be seriously investigated, a fundamental assessment will be made of what happened,» Kachanova noted, quoted by BelTA.
It was reported earlier that Belarusian and Russian officials met on April 23 to discuss the problem of low-quality oil supplies from Russia. The Belneftekhim CEO visited Moscow on April 25. On Friday, Druzhba oil pipeline operators met in Minsk to discuss a technical solution to supplying the refineries with oil. According to Rybakov, Belarus would restore oil processing in full volume next month.
On April 19, the Belarusian concern Belneftekhim reported a sharp deterioration of the quality of the Russian oil running through the Druzhba oil pipeline and subsequently informed pipeline operators from other countries about the situation. The content of chlororganic compounds in the oil showed excess of limit value by ten folds, the company said.
On April 23, Belarus suspended exports of light oil products to Ukraine, Poland and Baltic countries due to poor quality oil supplied to its refineries. Poland also refused to accept Russian crude delivered via the Druzhba pipeline.
The Russian authorities admitted the fact that the oil supplied via the pipeline is of poor quality, but said the problem was technical and would be resolved soon. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak vowed that crude of proper quality would reach the Belarusian border on April 29.
The source of pollution was found on the Samara-Unecha section of Druzhba. Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft said the pollution was caused by deliberate actions, and a criminal investigation was launched into the matter.