(Adds details on loan talks, no comment from Transneft)
* President says Russia agreed to supply 23 mln T next year
* Lukashenko also says asked Moscow for $2 bln loan
* Russia pipeline company Transneft declines comment
MINSK, Dec 21 Belarus has secured an increase in
Russian crude supplies next year and asked Moscow for a $2
billion loan to upgrade its ageing industrial assets,
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Friday.
Belarus has been asking Russia for 23 million tonnes of
crude oil, or about 460,000 bpd, up from 21.5 million tonnes
promised this year.
The crude is supplied free of Russia's normally hefty export
duties - meaning it is effectively subsidised - and in return
Moscow wants quantities of oil products at a favourable price.
Moscow, which has accused its partner of exporting refined
oil products to the West rather than shipping them back to
Russia, was offering only 18 million tonnes of crude, an
"We have really agreed on the supply of 23 million
(tonnes)," Belarussian state news agency BelTA quoted Lukashenko
as saying on Friday. "We will get the oil without any issues."
Russia's oil pipeline monopoly Transneft declined to comment
on the agency report.
Belarus has two large oil refineries that process Russian
crude and export gasoline and diesel.
The refining business earns vital hard currency but Moscow
has occasionally bridled over supply terms, part of a complex
arrangement that also covers pipeline supplies of Russian oil
and gas to Europe via Belarussian pipelines.
Lukashenko said in an interview last month that in exchange
for increased supplies Russia was demanding a guaranteed
delivery of 2-3 million tonnes of refined products back from
Russia may find itself short of gasoline next year after
introducing new, more stringent fuel standards, as its own
refiners have fallen behind schedule on investments needed to
improve the quality of their products.
Hinting at a further improvement in Minsk's ties with
Moscow, Lukashenko on Friday told BelTA the sides were
discussing a $2 billion loan to finance an upgrade of
Belarussian industrial enterprises.
He did not say when Moscow, which already provided a $3
billion bailout facility to Minsk last year through a regional
fund, could approve and disburse the fresh loan.
Belarus, which suffered from a balance-of-payments crisis in
2011, faces a foreign debt repayment crunch next year when about
$3 billion of its liabilities fall due.
(Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov;
Editing by Anthony Barker)