Russian oil exporters may suspend supplies to Belarus’s Naftan refinery after the United States tightened sanctions on Belarus over alleged human rights violations and abuses, four sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Russia’s Rosneft and Surgutneftegaz do not plan to supply oil to Naftan in May, two of the sources said.
“We are waiting for our bosses’ decision, not signing off (orders) for now,” one Russian oil company source said.
As it was formerly reported, on April 19 the U.S. Treasury Department published on its website the decision to resume sanctions against nine Belarusian companies following the deterioration of the human rights situation in Belarus.
According to the document, on June 3, 2021, sanctions will be resumed against the Belarusian Oil Trading House, Belneftekhim concern, Belneftekhim USA, Belshina, Grodno Azot, Grodno Khimvolokno, Lakokraska, Naftan and Steklovolokno.
Earlier in March State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the U.S. State Department intended to recommend the Treasury Department not to extend the suspension of sanctions against nine petrochemical companies in Belarus, which would expire on April 26, 2021.
The sanctions against nine Belarusian companies were introduced by the U.S. in 2006. The reason was the presidential elections in Belarus, which the U.S. and the EU recognized as undemocratic. However, in October 2015, these restrictive measures against a number of Belarusian companies were partially suspended. The decision was repeatedly extended by the U.S. government over years under different U.S. presidents. In October 2019, the U.S. extended the suspension of sanctions against Belarusian petrochemical companies for 18 months.