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Belarus Halts Exports Due to Low-Quality Russian Oil

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Belarus has suspended exports of light oil products, gasoline and diesel fuel to Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries due to the low quality of Russian oil, the country’s exporter announced Tuesday.

Russia’s pipeline monopoly Transneft and its Energy Ministry said last week there were problems with the quality of Russian oil going through the Belarussian pipeline. Earlier this week, Belarus temporarily limited imports of Russian oil after finding it contained 17 times the normal level of chlorides.

“At the moment the contractual obligations are on halt until we resolve the issue with Russian oil,” Sergei Grib, deputy head of the Belarussian Oil Company, was quoted as saying by Belarus’ state-run BelTA news agency.

The decision is aimed at meeting Belarus’ domestic demand in full, the agency reported.

Grib said Belarus plans to import oil from the Baltics and Ukraine, bypassing Russia, before the end of 2019, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported.

The country’s Belsat news channel has reported that poor-quality Russian oil has reached a refinery in Germany and will reach a refinery in Hungary.

Belarus is a major transit route for the supply of Russian oil to Europe.

Reuters contributed reporting to this article.

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