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  Minsk attempts to provoke displeasure between Russia and Ukraine

2010 05 06

The Ukrainian President Viktor Janukovich started his first official visit in Belarus.

The new page in the relations between Minsk and Kiev was opened in August last year: the crisis of Russian-Ukrainian relations, which coincided with the sharp standoff of relations between Moscow and Minsk, made Viktor Jushchenko a great friend of Belarus. Analysts then even spoke about the establishment of the Ukrainian-Belarusian alliance against the RF.

During the current visit of Mr Janukovich, agreement on the transit of oil from Venezuela, which Minsk is planning to transport by railway via the Ukrainian port Odessa, should be signed.

Part of the refined articles from the oil of Venezuela will be exported to Ukraine. Kiev has already welcomed Minsk and reduced the railway transport tariff on the first consignment of oil.

Oil supply from Venezuela to Belarus should according to the intentions of Minsk reduce its dependence on the RF.

According to the expert assessment, in some two-three years oil from Venezuela may start competing with the Russian oil in Europe.

Moreover, according to the opinion of the Head of the Belarus Centre under the name of Mizes Jaroslav Romanchuk, Viktor Janukovich, who has shifted the Ukrainian policy towards Russia by entering into the arrangement “fleet in exchange of gas”, will take the friendship with Aleksandr Lukashenka with reserve. “It is unlikely Kiev will be willing to argue with Russia because of a little advantage from transporting Venezuelan oil to Belarus”.

It seems that Minsk is aware of this, too. Prime Minister of Belarus Sergej Sidorskij just in case visited Lithuania on 29 April - to discuss transit of the Venezuelan oil through the ports of the Baltic States.

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from «Салидарнасць» of 30 04 2010

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