07:26 GMT29 March 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US energy companies are prepared to immediately start selling oil to Belarus at market prices, State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a press release on Friday.

    "Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo spoke today with Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei," the release said. "The Secretary affirmed the willingness of US companies to begin immediately selling oil to Belarus at competitive market prices."

    Earlier this year, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured during a visit to Belarus that the US was capable of fulfilling 100% of Minsk's oil needs if the latter chooses to accept such an option. 

    Russia has long been the primary source of oil for Belarus, but recently the two countries have been unable to negotiate a new price, with Minsk demanding a discount to compensate for a price change that occurred due to a so-called "tax manoeuvre" in its eastern neighbour.

    This is not the first time that the two countries have had disagreements on oil prices, but in the past, they have always managed to reach a mutually beneficial solution. At the same time, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has considered diversifying his country’s oil sources each time the two nations have had a disagreement, including by buying Saudi and American oil.

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    State Department, oil, Belarus, U.S
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