KIEV, July 7 (Itar-Tass) -- Kiev and Minsk will sign an agreement by the end of this week on the transportation of oil to Belarus through Ukraine.
The two sides are now finalising the document, the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Fuel and Energy said on Wednesday.
"The Belarusian side has expressed interest in fostering cooperation in the field of oil supplies to oil refineries using the oil transportation system and railways in Ukraine and Belarus," the press service said.
It said that Ukraine has technical possibilities for receiving oil from abroad at its ports on the Black Sea and transporting it further.
Belarus started looking for alternative gas and oil supplies several years ago in Latin America, Africa and Iran. "We started producing oil in Venezuela and Iran. Moreover, we already bring oil over from Venezuela and process it at our refineries. It is a matter of reliable oil supplies to Belarus form world markets using different routes. We must not repeat the mistake with Russia. Supplies from other oil markets using one route would be just as dangerous as the dependence on hydrocarbon supplies one state is now," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
Belarus and Venezuela will complete the creation of a joint venture for oil supplies from this Latin American country by June 30, 2010, the Belarusian government press service said earlier after Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky's visit to the Mozyr oil refinery in the Gomel region.
Sidorsky said the implementation of the project was proceeding as scheduled.
At the initial stage, about four million tonnes of oil will be supplied to Belarus from Venezuela.
According to Sidorsky, Venezuelan oil has low sulphur content, which will guarantee a big output of light petroleum products. "We will export the end products together with our Venezuelan partners," the prime minister said.
During Lukashenko's recent visit to Caracas, Venezuela and Belarus signed more than 20 joint documents on further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
Standing out among them is a contract specifying the terms of supplying 80,000 barrels Venezuelan oil to Belarus, under which it will be transported via the seaport of Odessa. After processing at Belarusian oil refineries, petrol products will be sold in Europe.
"We are beginning with 80,000 barrels of oil, but we will raise it 100,000 barrels and more in the future in order to provide Belarus with everything it needs," Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said at the signing ceremony.
He described the fist oil supplies to Belarus to begin in May as "an historic event".
"This agreement is not for one day but for all times," he said.