First Shipment of U.S. Oil to Belarus
MAY 15, 2020
This week, the first shipment of U.S. crude oil will depart for Belarus. This competitive deal, by U.S. energy trader United Energy Trading, with the assistance of U.S. firm Getka and their Polish partner UNIMOT, strengthens Belarusian sovereignty and independence, demonstrates that the United States is ready to deliver trade opportunities for American companies interested in entering the Belarusian market, and fulfills the commitment the United States made to Belarus in February with government leaders in Minsk.
As the biggest oil and gas producer in the world, the United States stands ready to meet the import requirements of countries that, like Belarus, want to benefit from enhanced energy security based on supply diversification and trade rooted in the U.S. commercial values of free enterprise, the rule of law, and transparent deals free of corruption.
The United States urges Belarus to build on the progress it has made to increase the access of American businesses to its market and undertake the market-oriented, trade-liberalizing reforms necessary to advance its WTO accession process. These developments will help Belarus unlock its full trade and investment potential and secure its future. The United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership.
The fact is that, due to the impending completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Western Europe, there will need to be a mechanism for responding if Russia pressures the former Soviet republics with supply cutoffs or outsized price hikes. This use of energy reserves as a geopolitical weapon was documented in a 2018 report by the European Parliament. If you can’t stop Nord Stream 2 from being completed, the least you can do is prepare for potential Russian actions with regard to Nord Stream, which terminates in Eastern Europe.