NewsKazakhstan and Belarus to fuel Russia amidst Ukrainian refinery strikes

Kazakhstan and Belarus to fuel Russia amidst Ukrainian refinery strikes

Russia has problems with fuel. It was supposed to ask Kazakhstan for help.
Russia has problems with fuel. It was supposed to ask Kazakhstan for help.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor#8523328
6:03 AM EDT, April 9, 2024

Kazakhstan is preparing to provide approximately 110,234 tons (100,000 metric tons) of fuel to Russia should Moscow face a gasoline shortage - a situation attributed to Ukrainian attacks on refineries that have diminished the production capacity of Russia, Reuters reports. While one source from Reuters mentioned that an agreement on using Kazakhstan's reserves has been reached, an adviser to the Kazakh Minister of Energy refuted claims of any such request from Russia.

Belarus has also pledged to supply fuel to Russia.

Ukrainian attacks on refineries

Ukrainian forces have been targeting Russian refineries with drone attacks for weeks. In March, significant strikes on refineries were confirmed in areas such as Slavyansk in Krasnodar Krai, Novoshakhtinsk in Rostov Oblast, and other locations including Ryazan, Kstovo in the Nizhny Novgorod region, and Kirshi in the Leningrad Oblast. Media outlets from both Russia and Ukraine have reported attacks on refineries in Syzran and Novokuibyshevsk in the Samara region, alongside a fire near a thermal power plant in Petersburg.

In early April, Reuters estimated that the Russian refineries taken offline in the first quarter of 2024 due to drone attacks accounted for about 4.6 million tons of crude oil (approximately 370,500 barrels per day). This reduction is equivalent to roughly 7% of the processing capabilities of all refineries in Russia, with other sources suggesting up to a 10% loss.

According to Belsat, Russian officials maintain that the "situation in the fuel market is stable, and reserves are sufficient," despite a six-month ban on gasoline exports starting from March 1. Russians experienced unusually high fuel prices last fall, prompting the Kremlin to temporarily restrict the export of gasoline and diesel oil to stabilize domestic availability. Though this embargo was partially lifted, it has been fully reapplied for gasoline.

The export ban excludes member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan) and South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan.

"Kyiv Independent" reports that due to ongoing gasoline shortages, Kazakhstan has limited fuel exports until the end of 2024.

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