Belarusian oil products still being exported through Estonia

Oil tankers at Tartu Railway Station.
Oil tankers at Tartu Railway Station. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Belarusian oil products and other goods continue to be exported through Estonia by state-owned company Operrail despite western sanctions, newspaper Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) reported on Monday.

The majority of transported products are "heavier oil products, such as fuel oil, which accounts for four-fifths of imports", EPL said.

Estonia has risen to become Belarus' 10th largest import partner due to the increase in the price of oil.

Head of Operrail Raul Toomsalu said checks are being carried out but customers are EU registered companies, "99 percent" of them in Estonia.

"At the moment, there is no information that the new sanctions will affect us, as we have no connection with these legal entities, but it cannot be ruled out that indirect effects will occur," he said.

Chairman of the Riigikogu's Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson (Reform) told EPL the committee wants more information and said Estonia must also be prepared to suffer losses.

Belarus has had oil refineries since Soviet times which use raw materials from Russia. Refining the products creates income for the Belarusian regime.

The EU and U.S.A have imposed five rounds of sanctions on the Belarusian regime after a crackdown on the political opposition after the presidential election in 2020, the forced landing of a RyanAir plane and a "hybrid attack" using migrants on Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

The most recent round came into effect at the start of December.

In November, ERR News reported the amount of Belarusian goods imported to Estonia had risen to a record high in 2021.

Lithuania's government is currently caught up in a scandal related to Belarusian exports, public broadcaster LRT reports.


Follow ERR News on Facebook and Twitter and never miss an update!

Editor: Helen Wright

Hea lugeja, näeme et kasutate vanemat brauseri versiooni või vähelevinud brauserit.

Parema ja terviklikuma kasutajakogemuse tagamiseks soovitame alla laadida uusim versioon mõnest meie toetatud brauserist: