May 11, 2019 / 10:58 AM / 3 months ago

Belarus' Lukashenko says damages from contaminated oil 'enormous': Belta

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko (L) arrives to attend a welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Pool

MINSK (Reuters) - The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said on Saturday the cost of damages from contaminated oil received via the Russian Druzhba oil pipeline was ‘enormous’ and Belarus expects compensation from Russia, state-run Belta news agency said.

“Right now we are evaluating the damage... damage is enormous to the pipeline, to the equipment on the pipelines (including pumps on the facilities and the like) and to the oil refineries,” Lukashenko was cited as saying.

He said costs could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and that he hopes Russia will not dispute the costs.

Russia halted oil flows along the Druzhba pipeline, which flows through Belarus to Eastern Europe and Germany, late last month because of contaminated crude, contributing to a rise in global oil prices to a six-month high and leaving refiners in Europe scrambling to find supplies.

Reporting by Andrei Makhovsky; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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