Venezuela Pledges Long-Term Oil Supplies to Belarus

MOSCOW - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday guaranteed his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko that the Eastern European country could count on supplies of Venezuelan oil for many years to come.

In the negotiations, preceded by a private meeting lasting more than 3? hours, Chavez promised Lukashenko that Belarus refineries will not lack crude for at least 200 years, according to the Belta news agency.

With regard to the outlook for increased cooperation between the two countries, the Venezuelan head of state said that the process is continuing and will continue, while at the same time he thanked Belarus for its support and promised to respond in kind.

Chavez particularly pointed out the very helpful exchange of technology, aid with housing-construction projects, industrial cooperation and collaboration in the petrochemical sector.

He also expressed gratitude for Belarus' readiness to share with Venezuela all that the country produces as well as its technology.

He said that this cooperation is priceless, above all in the contemporary world where egotism so often rules and multinational companies impose their domination.

He added that in relations between Belarus and Venezuela there are no debtors and said that the two countries are building an alternative to imperialism.

For his part, Lukashenko stressed the contribution of the Venezuelan president to the development of the independent Belarus state.

"In these difficult lent us a hand. I don't want to be your debtor and we will do so much for Venezuela that you won't ever have to repent creating ties with us," the Belarus president said.

The agenda of the Venezuelan president in Belarus includes a visit to the Minsk Arena sports and entertainment center and the National Library, as well as attending an expo of locally made machinery for the oil and gas industry.

This is Chavez's fifth trip to Belarus, having visited this country every year since 2006.

In December 2007, Lukashenko made his first state visit to Venezuela, during which the BeloVenezolana oil company was created with the right to exploit the Guara Este oilfield for 25 years, with a potential production of 5 million barrels.

In March 2010, the Belarusian president made a second trip to Venezuela, during which a series of documents were signed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and which covered a series of different economic sectors.


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