MOSCOW, April 18 Russia has agreed to ship 23
million tonnes of crude oil to Belarus this year, more than in
2013, a spokeswoman for Russia's Energy Ministry said on Friday,
in a sign of thawing relations between the two countries.
The increase in supplies to Belarus is likely to put upward
pressure on prices of Russia's Urals crude blend.
Last year, Russia supplied 21 million tonnes of crude to
Belarus and threatened to cut supplies after the two became
embroiled in a dispute over potash.
The spokeswoman for Russia's Energy Ministry said Russia
would supply 21 million tonnes of oil (420,000 barrels per day)
to Belarus via a pipeline and 2 million tonnes via railroad this
Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has not openly
supported Moscow's recent actions in Ukraine, but he has said
that the annexed Crimea peninsula is "de-facto Russian
Earlier on Thursday, Lukashenko signalled to Russian potash
producer Uralkali that he was interested in ending a
nine-month dispute that has hurt both sides.
(Reporting by Olesya Astakhova; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin;
editing by Jane Baird)