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Belarus-Russia working group to assess damage from polluted oil


Representatives of Belneftekhim and the Russian Ministry of Energy will make part of a working group that will assess the damage from contaminated Russian oil and define the compensation means, Russian Vice Premier Dmitry Kozak told the media after a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Igor Lyashenko.

“We have agreed to set up a joint working group consisting of eight experts who will assess the damage,” Dmitry Kozak said.

According to the vice premier, Russia and Belarus are busy with estimating the losses from the contaminated oil. “We have no disagreements regarding the need for Russia's compensation, but it should be calculated. The working group is expected to calculate the actual losses and define the compensation means. We are on the same page regarding the matter and our efforts are constructive. We cannot announce the size of compensation yet,” said Dmitry Kozak.

He added that the final assessment of the damage from the contaminated oil in the export pipeline Druzhba will be possibly known in three or four weeks.

BelTA reported earlier that on 19 April Belneftekhim registered a massive decrease in the quality of the Russian oil mixture Urals flowing in transit into the main oil pipeline section operated by OAO Gomeltransneft Druzhba. The concentration of chlororganic compounds in oil exceeded standard thresholds dozens of times over. Both Belarusian oil refineries – OAO Naftan and Mozyr Oil Refinery – have been forced to reduce their workload and have experienced financial losses. Oil, meeting all quality standards, reached the Belarusian border on 2 May and Mozyr Oil Refinery on 4 May.

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