Russia halts oil supplies to Belarus in push for closer ties


Russia has halted oil supplies to Belarus after the two countries failed to renegotiate a contract amid talks of further improving economic ties.

The two Belarusian refineries were operating at low capacity, running on reserves from last year. Oil transit to Europe and natural gas supplies remain unaffected.

Belarus has been relying on cheap energy and loans from Russia for more than a quarter century. The Kremlin has recently increased pressure on its ally, raising energy prices and cutting subsidies. It argued that Belarus should accept closer economic integration if it wants to continue receiving energy resources at Russia’s domestic prices.