Belarus no longer needs Russian gas. Fuel from our country too costly for the Federal Republic, which, according to its President, Alexander Lukashenko, easily find new suppliers of “blue fuel”. Experts understand the reasons for the refusal of Minsk of Russian gas, but a possible alternative supply is likely to be much more expensive because in the imaginary pursuit of discounts Belarus will have to buy up raw materials from European mediators. Apparently realizing this, Lukashenko urges people to warm up with sawdust and peat.
For access to the Belarusian fuel market there is a serious competition. In this, at least, I’m sure the President of the country Alexander Lukashenko. “Thank God, oil and enough — take it, don’t want to. And natural gas enough already, there is a fight,” — he said, once again, insisting on lowering prices for Russian “blue fuel”, which, in the opinion of “father”, is unreasonably high.
At present, almost all of the gas that consumes Belarus has Russian nationality. The country purchases every year in our country about 20 billion cubic meters of “blue fuel” at a fixed price of $127 per thousand “cubes”. Although this price was reflected in the signed in the beginning of this year the Protocol between Gazprom and the Belarusian government, in the spring, when quotations of energy resources on the international market began to fall, Alexander Lukashenko said that his country discounts. “In the current conditions (drop in world demand due to pandemic coronavirus — “MK”), the price of Russian gas for the Republic should be $40-45,” — said the President, warning that the Belarusian can always find alternatives to Russian gas and to completely abandon the purchase of raw materials from Moscow.
Indeed, theoretically, the Minsk is able to get gas in reverse from the Ukraine, Lithuania or Poland. However, in any case, this fuel will be of Russian origin, since all these countries do not have the necessary production capacity for the export of raw materials and for internal needs, they turn to external suppliers. In addition, the re-export of gas would require a huge amount of economic, technical, political and administrative problems. Even for each of the short-term contracts will have to conclude a separate Treaty, attracting international law firms and, possibly, to create new joint venture for the legal control of transactions.
the First attempts to find an alternative energy supplier Minsk already taken. At the beginning of the year, the country has acquired several tanker loads of Norwegian, American and Azerbaijani oil in volume of 1 million tons. Savings in comparison with the Russian “blackm gold” turned out to be small, however, transactions in the international market has allowed Belarus to assert their competitive advantages and opportunities to establish similar supply of “blue fuel”. However, until now the scheme of transportation of gas, alternative to Russian raw materials, not yet available.
As Belarus not only has factories for liquefied natural gas acceptance, but does not have its own outlets to the sea, which could be to import LNG, the possibility of buying such type of energy from Qatar, and the United States is for Minsk disappears. From a technological point of view, the most real could be the supply from the Baltic States on highways “Vilnius-Ivatsevichi”, “Ivatsevichi-Dolina and Torzhok-Dolina”. These routes were mostly created in Soviet times to supply gas from the Northern fields of the USSR areas not having their own sources of fuel. Formally, at the conclusion of spot transactions for the purchase of gas on European exchanges with the mediators, the fuel will no longer have a direct relationship to our country, however, in any case, the hydrocarbons supplied via the aforementioned routes will be produced on Russian territory. In addition, the actual amount of supplies will depend on the physical condition of pipelines. The costs of organizing such a route will be much higher than $127 per thousand cubic meters, which Minsk pays in present Russia.
Another option of providing Belarus with energy resources to bypass Russia could be the supply of fuel from Poland, which would have required the use of the capacity of the pipeline “Yamal-Europe”. Warsaw has refused to renew with “Gazprom” the agreement on long-term transit of raw materials on the pipe, proposing to conclude agreements on international trading platforms. However, at least until the end of this year, the Russian company has managed almost completely to the right to download these tubes own gas. Even if Minsk will acquire the necessary volumes on the European stock exchange, part of them will have to receive in the reverse direction through Ukraine, which probably will put their own conditions for the provision of space in the tube.
“In European countries now there is a surplus of energy, therefore, Minsk is able to adjust the supply of gas from Europe and to purchase excess fuel on the European market for reverse drive circuits, — believes the Deputy head of the national energy security Fund Alexei Grivach. — Only purchased raw materials will still be of Russian origin, so significant price concessions, European traders are unlikely. In any case, the energy of Europe will be $10-15 per thousand cubic meters more expensive than direct supplies from Russia”, — said the expert.
meanwhile, Lukashenko, there is another alternative to fuel fabrication, which he has already introduced its own citizens. “Peat, wood chips and sawdust just lying under the feet. It should be used. In Vitebsk region has learned to do it. This experience should be extended to the whole country, because the perishing of the wood we have today is enough”, — says the President.
Read the article: “Russia is ready to leave Belarus without gas: “Gazprom” delivered an ultimatum”