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Belarus has recently shipped diesel and gasoline to Russia, as requested by Moscow, and is ready to further increase supplies if needed, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Putin, said while on a visit to Russia on Friday.
Belarus has supplied 60,000 tons of diesel and gasoline each to Russia, Russian news agency Interfax quoted Lukashenko as saying. The Belarusian president is one of the very few allies Putin has left after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
There are diesel shortages in parts of Russia and the country is estimated to be planning to slash its diesel exports from its ports on the Baltic and Black Seas by nearly 25% in September compared to the export plans for August, amid refinery maintenance and rising domestic fuel prices.
Russia’s plan for diesel exports in September lays out the lowest shipments since May this year when spring refinery maintenance was in place.
The primary oil refining capacity that will be offline in Russia is set to soar by 44% in September compared to August amid seasonal maintenance, according to Reuters estimates based on data from industry sources.
Russia’s authorities are also recommending refineries curb exports and sell more fuel domestically to meet local demand, but the recommendation is not legally binding, according to Bloomberg.
Due to the close relations with Russia, Belarus and Lukashenko are under pressure from the West and the EU agreed last month to extend the scope of sanctions on Belarus, in response to Belarus's involvement in the invasion of Ukraine. The new measures create a closer alignment of EU sanctions targeting Russia and Belarus and will help to ensure that Russian sanctions cannot be circumvented through Belarus, the European Commission says.
This week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which MEPs said that “the illegitimate Lukashenka regime is actively supporting and has become fully complicit in Russia’s unjustified war of aggression and war crimes against Ukraine.”
The Parliament also called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to consider issuing an international warrant for Lukashenko’s arrest.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.