Kiev - Belarus on Monday concluded an agreement with Ukraine that will give it access to crude oil from the Black Sea while bypassing Russian pipelines.
The agreement, which allows Belarus to transport 4 million tons of oil via Ukraine's Odessa-Brody pipeline, was signed by officials from the two countries' national energy companies, the Interfax news agency reported.
The two-year transit contract with Ukraine guarantees Belarus roughly one-third of its annual crude oil needs via a route uncontrolled by the Kremlin, which has come into conflict with Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko over bilateral trade.
Belarus last year signed an agreement with Venenzuela for the delivery of up to 5 million tons of oil. Minsk is negotiating terms with Azerbaijan for the delivery of another 8 million tons.