Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Reports: Russia eyes Belarusian petrochemicals transit to Baltic ports

Euroradio

Russia wants to take over the transit of Belarusian petrochemical products to the ports in the Baltic states. The Russian Ralways (RZD) is mullling over an unprecedented 25% discount for Belarus to redirect the transit to the Russian ports, the Russian business daily Kommersant reports today.

If the deal is reached, the increased volume of shipments will allow the Russian Railways to make nearly RUR 8 billion (around $126 million) in additional revenues. However, the decision may be political in the first place. It was already discussed in Moscow in September. The Russian oil transportation company Transneft has already announced it is ready to reduce the transit of petrochemical products via the Baltic states down to zero.

Russian Railways will consider possible discounts for the shipment of diesel fuel, gasoline and heating oil from Belarusian refineries already this week. The discount reportedly planned to be in place till the end of 2018 may come into effect ten days after the publication. Belarus has traditionally shipped its oil products via the Baltic Sea ports of Ventspils in Latvia and Klaipeda in Lithuania. The 25% discount proposed by the Russian Railways could make the cost of shipment to Russian ports comparable with the tariffs in the ports in the Baltic states.

It is yet to be known if Belarus is interested in this proposal from Russia. As of today, Belarus ships 90% of its petrochemical products via the Baltic states and Ukraine.