Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

US offers to supply Belarus with oil and gas amid Russia tension

EPA-EFE/JIM LO SCALZO
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the State Department will not renew sanction waivers for countries importing Iranian oil at the State Department in Washington, DC, USA, 22 April 2019. The increased pressure on Iran comes nearly one year after the Trump administration withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal. Pompeo also spoke briefly on the terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka.

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US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said his country is ready to fully provide Belarus with energy resources at competitive prices, as its main oil provider, Russia, recently cut off its oil supplies.
Pompeo made the offer during his visit in Minsk, where he met with Belarusian foreign minister Vladimir Makei.
“The United States wants to help Belarus build its own sovereign country”, Pompeo said, and added: “Our energy producers stand ready to deliver 100% of the oil you need at competitive prices. We’re the biggest energy producer in the world and all you have to do is call us”.
Recently, Belarusian state-run oil company Belneftekhim started importing oil from Norway after Russia suspended its supplies in a pressure for deeper economic and military integration between the two neighbors.
Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko has reiterated his intention to protect Belarus’ independence. Lukashenko and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks but failed to agree on the closer ties, as well as on oil and gas prices.
Russia’s pressure sparked protests, as Belarusians are concerned that the integration could result in a merger of the two countries, such as Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
The stalled negotiations also forced Belarus to secure a $500 million loan from China Development Bank. Belarus’ finance ministry said the loan will be used to repay foreign debt.
“The United States was among the first to recognize the independence of Belarus. We remain in the same position and we hope for deeper relations”, Pompeo concluded.

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