If Russia and Belarus stop exporting fuel and lubricants to Ukraine, the Ukrainian army will surrender in three to five days.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko warned Kiev that Minsk would stop supplying Ukraine with fuel and lubricants (mineral fuel, oil, refined products, etc) and electricity should Kiev initiate an aggravation with Russia.
"There is only one danger: the Ukrainian authorities may take a very serious action against Donetsk and Luhansk — the Donbass," Lukashenko said in an interview with Vladimir Solovyov.
"We will cut off all supplies (to Ukraine), not only fuel and lubricants. Electricity supplies will be cut too. If they start fighting against us or against Russia, then we will fight," the president added. According to him, "we, together with the Russians, supply the same amount of oil products to Ukraine."
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, in response to Alexander Lukashenko, said on Tuesday, February 8, that Ukraine's exports to Belarus were higher than imports. Therefore, a mutual embargo would affect people in both countries.
"We should not go back to the Stone Age," Zelensky added.
However, it is obvious now that in order not to go back to the Stone Age, one needs to change the regime in Kiev, as the current Ukrainian regime is not going to stop attempts to "free" Crimea and Donbass through the use of force.
In order to do this, one does not need to resort to Russian tanks or missiles. Ukraine's dependence on fuel supplies from Russia and Belarus is so high that its army will not be able to move after several days of resistance.
According to the State Customs Service of Ukraine, in January-December 2021, the country increased foreign exchange spending on imports of petroleum products to $5.614 billion, which was 65.1% higher than in 2020. In physical terms, as many as 8.79 million tons of petroleum products were imported to Ukraine over 12 months, which was 9.5% higher than a year earlier.
At the same time, imports of petroleum products from Belarus amounted to $2.35 billion (41.8% of all spending on imports of petroleum products), from Russia — $1.24 billion (22%), from Lithuania — $0.654 billion (11.6%), UNIAN said.
Thus, 63% of Ukrainain imports of fuels and lubricants come from the Russian Federation and Belarus.
Moreover, Ukraine's dependence on imports of fuels and lubricants has been growing steadily for the last 15 years. Instead of six large oil refineries that Ukraine had during the Soviet times, the country has only one left today. In 2020, Ukraine's national producers ensured only 49% of gasoline consumption, 15% of diesel fuel and 20% of LPG. At the same time, the country's dependence on imported diesel fuel amounted to 65%, whereas 100% of aviation kerosene was supplied by Belarus.
According to the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, Russia's exports to Ukraine in 2021 amounted to $8 billion 129.5 million, which was 28.8% higher than in 2020 ($6 billion 310.5 million).
Fuel and lubricants exports account for more than a third of all Russian sales in the amount of $1.867 billion, Nezygar Telegram channel said.
With the annual need for fuel and lubricants for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, this figure approximately makes up 15% of the level required to maintain constant combat readiness.
According to military experts interviewed by Nezygar, Ukraine will not be able to compensate possible restrictions in hydrocarbon sales — both reserve storage facilities of its own and the deployment of NATO mobile logistics pipeline systems will not be possible due to the backwardness of the military infrastructure and the difference in fuel standards.
Fuel and lubricants reserves of the mechanized units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be enough only for three or five days of active hostilities, experts conclude. In accordance with the practice of the energy community, in order to create reserve stocks of oil and petroleum products, a volume covering a 90-day demand is needed.
According to Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Kiev has been concentrating a huge amount of forces on the line of contact with the People's Republic of Donetsk and the People's Republic of Luhansk. The nature of this concentration speaks of preparations for offensive operations, he added.
The head of the People's Republic of Donetsk, Denis Pushilin, pointed out the presence of military instructors from the US and the UK in Ukraine. This indicates that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are preparing for an offensive. Pushilin also paid attention to the arrival of Ukrainian and foreign journalists in the conflict zone, "as if they have to report something."
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