RealNews

Russia: Moscow Pushes Ahead With Pipeline Bypassing Belarus

Russian media quote Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as announcing on May 14 that the state pipeline monopoly Transneft has chosen the port of Ust-Luga, in Russia’s northern Leningrad Oblast, as the terminal for the new pipeline. The idea for the Baltic Pipeline System-2 (BPS-2) was first floated in January 2007 following a bitter dispute with Belarus over oil-transit fees that briefly disrupted supplies to Europe. Once the pipeline is completed, Russia is unlikely to fully suspend oil transit through Belarus. But Yury Drakakhrust, a correspondent for RFE/RL’s Belarus Service, says the new pipeline will severely dent Belarus’s economy and bargaining power. Full Story

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