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Medvedev suggests Minsk value Moscow’s support

January 14, 17:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

According to the prime minister, Russia continues to provide credit support to Belarus, which already surpasses $6.5 bln

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Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

© Alexander Astafyev/Russian Government Press Office/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev thinks that Minsk should value the support it receives from Moscow.

"In fact, we are helping them [Belarus], by taking money from our economy. They should value that when reflecting on (our) allied relationship," he said at a meeting with his deputies.

According to Medvedev, Russia continues to provide credit support to Belarus, which already surpasses $6.5 bln.

This does not include the loan allocated for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

"We do not demand repayment of these loans, we will extend these loans at the request of our partners given conditions, when Western financial markets are closed to us," he stressed.

Speaking about the tax maneuver, Medvedev admitted that it did affect "some of Russia’s neighbors," although it was Moscow’s sovereign decision.

"Of course, we understand their concerns and carry on negotiations," the prime minister noted. At the same time, he pointed out that Russia had never made a promise to other countries to reimburse lost revenue even due to the tax maneuver.

"We never promised to compensate for the lost income of other countries, even those closest, though in some cases over recent years, at the request of these states, we have provided them with various irrevocable support," he stressed.

Tax maneuver

The tax maneuver in the oil sector implies a reduction of crude export duties and simultaneously raising the mineral extraction tax. The tax maneuver is aimed at reducing the dependence of Russia’s budget on export duties, which drop following global oil price movements.

Currently, Minsk wants to compel Russia to provide compensation for the tax maneuver in the oil sector that will push the oil price for Belarusian refineries up. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said earlier that the losses of two Belarusian oil refining plants and the country’s budget from Russia’s tax maneuver would total $383 mln with the oil price at $70 per barrel in 2019. According to Lyashenko, Minsk expected to receive $310-315 mln from Russia. His Russian counterpart Anton Siluanov said though that the Kremlin had not given any relevant pledges to its ally.

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