Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Rosneft chief Igor Sechin

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On 11 September President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with President of OAO NK Rosneft igor Sechin.

“First of all, I would like to thank you in public for the principles you showed with regard to obligations of the Russian side concerning oil deliveries to Belarusian refineries. Including to your refinery, because today Rosneft owns roughly half of the shares of Mozyr Oil Refinery, which has markets of its own and respectable markets at that,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Because, frankly speaking, I’ve instructed First Vice Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko to sign contracts on oil deliveries from the global market at global prices,” stated the President. “We had no choice, because we couldn’t stop the refinery, it would have resulted in huge losses otherwise. Therefore, your statement came in handy. And I’ve instructed the government, [the state petrochemical concern] Belneftekhim to work on the delivery of your oil to our refineries for processing. I think we will come to terms”.

“Moreover, I don’t think you would like someone else’s oil products made of foreign oil to penetrate your traditional market. I don’t think we should do it. The benefits of working with you are obvious,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that prices on the global market are rather high and if alternative deliveries were approved, refineries would lose profits. “Losses are certainly respectable if we also take into consideration the crisis raging in the world now and the one brought about by the potash mess. Therefore, we don’t need any arguments today,” noted the Belarus President.

The head of state suggested discussing other promising avenues of cooperation with Rosneft as well. “We are extremely interested in cooperation with Rosneft also because it is a huge empire. We don’t want to limit ourselves to just processing the oil and selling oil products. Such an empire needs support starting with food and ending with machines,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Therefore, with equal opportunities we are going to ask you to consider giving us an advantage in supplying the merchandise you may need for manufacturing and the company’s operation. I’ve asked the government to work on such avenues of cooperation”.

The President reminded that several years ago Belarus had successful experience of such cooperation with the company Lukoil. “About seven years ago we contracted to process their oil. I asked them to consider what machines, food, and special clothes we may make for them and back then our trade expanded considerably”.

In turn, President of Rosneft Igor Sechin thanked Aleksandr Lukashenko for the attention to the joint projects, which are being implemented in Belarus. “I will use the opportunity of the meeting to thank you as well as the President of the Russian Federation, the Russian government, the Energy Ministry, who have helped us keep up deliveries to Belarus, including to assets, which shares Rosneft owns. We believe that honoring contract obligations is a sacred rule for business and I am thankful for the understanding of this approach of ours,” he said.

Igor Sechin confirmed Rosneft’s interest in advancing cooperation with Belarus and said that in the morning of 11 September he already met with Belneftekhim Chairman Igor Zhilin. “We are negotiating an expansion of our cooperation in all areas. A bit later I will tell you about the concrete projects we would like to develop. Certainly, deliveries of material and technical resources and food are one of the possible avenues of cooperation. We also invite Belarusian manufacturers to take part in the tenders our company holds. We will be glad to see the equipment and food made in Belarus. We buy quite a lot for our personnel. At present Rosneft employs about 300,000 people,” added Igor Sechin.