Russia plans to open a second line of the Baltic pipeline system in November 2011, said Deputy Transport Minister of Russia Viktor Alersky. This oil pipeline of more than a thousand miles will connect the city Unecha in Bryansk region of Russia with the Baltic port of Ust-Lug in Leningrad region of the country, thus bypassing Belarus.
Oil from Ust-Lug is planned to be exported by tankers, this measure is used by Russia to reduce its dependence on oil transit through Belarus and Ukraine, the Belarusian service of Radio «Liberty» reports.
As Telegraf previously reported, the first vice-president of the Russian company Transneft Michael Arustamov said in November 2010 that the BTS-2 introduction would make Russia totally independent from the transit countries. «Don’t be afraid of such a comparison: it’s like an atomic bomb — a means of deterrence, a guarantee of political blackmail,» he said.
According to the director general of the Belarusian enterprise Gomelneft Druzhba Sergei Sosnovski, 79.6 million tons of Russian crude oil, targeted for exports, or 36% of all Russian exports, were transported through Belarusian pipeline systems in 2009. Oil transportation increased by 3% in January-July 2010 against the same period in 2009.
According to Sergei Sosnovski, the BPS-2 launch will 27% reduce Russian oil transit via Belarus.