Updated at 20:54,07-12-2016

Belarusian first deputy prime minister holds energy talks in Moscow

Belarusian First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka met with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich in Moscow on Monday to discuss trade and economic cooperation, including cooperation in the "energy sphere," according to the Belarusian embassy in Moscow.

Also participating in the meeting were representatives of concerned Belarusian and Russian ministries and other governmental agencies, the embassy said. Participants discussed the implementation of agreements reached during Mr. Dvorkovich's stay in Minsk on February 12 and the prospects for developing cooperation and carrying out joint industrial projects, the embassy said.

Aliya Simigullina, spokesperson for the Russian deputy prime minister, refused to say anything about the talks to BelaPAN .

The meeting between Messrs. Syamashka and Dvorkovich came four days before Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are scheduled to hold talks in St. Petersburg within the framework of a session of the Supreme State Council of the Belarusian-Russian Union State. The amount of Russian crude oil to be supplied to Belarus this year is expected to be one of the key issues on the agenda of the talks.

In late December 2012, Belarus and Russia signed an agreement whereby Belarus will receive 5.75 million tons of crude oil between January and March.

If Russia supplies the same amount of crude to Belarus in the other three quarters each, the latter will get a total of 23 million tons in 2013, the press office of the Belarusian Council of Ministers said on December 29.

Alyaksandr Lukashenka announced on December 21 that Russia had agreed to supply 23 million tons of crude oil to Belarus in 2013.

"We held talks with Russia and they offered 18.5 million tons while we wanted 23 million tons, but we and the Russians agreed on the supply of 23 million tons of oil," Mr. Lukashenka said.

Russia was expected to export a total of 21.5 million tons of oil to Belarus in 2012. In exchange, Belarus made a commitment to supply Russia with 5.8 million tons of high-quality petroleum products last year, including 2.1 million tons of gasoline, 3.5 million tons of diesel fuel and 0.2 million tons of aviation kerosene. However, it reportedly supplied only 144,300 tons of petroleum products to Russia in the first eight months of the year.