March 3, 2020 / 9:44 AM / in a month

Belarus' Lukashenko appoints new deputy PM as oil row drags on

MINSK (Reuters) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday appointed a new deputy prime minister to oversee the country’s petrochemical industry as a dispute with neighboring Russia over oil supply terms drags on.

Belarus and Russia have been locked in a row over oil supply and flows have slowed to a trickle since Jan. 1, while refineries in Belarus have been operating at 50% of capacity.

Lukashenko appointed Yuri Nazarov, the former head of Bellesbumprom, a state enterprise manufacturing timber and paper, as deputy prime minister, the presidential office said.

Igor Lyashenko, who was formerly in charge of the energy sector, was dismissed as he is moving to another job, state news agency Belta reported.

It was unclear whether Nazarov will have control of the whole energy sector or just petrochemicals.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Barbara Lewis

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