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Russian government holds talks with Belarus on easing effects of oil tax maneuvre

September 30, 2014, 15:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, September 30. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian government holds daily consultations with Belarus on the possible easing of the effects of Russia’s oil tax maneuvre for Minsk, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on Tuesday.

“The colleagues are worried by the tax maneuvre effect,” he said. “We currently discuss possible soothing measures. No decisions have been made yet. We maintain an active daily dialogue,” the official added.

According to previous reports, Belarus requested additional compensation from Russia for Russia’s oil tax maneuvre. Belarus buys oil for its refineries without duties at the external price, returning as compensation the oil export duties derived from Russian oil. In particular, Minsk proposes to cut the transferred duties’ sum. According to the Belarusian side, the republic’s losses in 2015 may reach $250 million, in 2016 — $300 million and in 2017 — $370 million.

On Monday, September 29, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Shatalov said the ministry believed that the sum of $1.5 billion from the petroleum export duties that will remain in the Belarusian budget from 2015 to cover the budget shortfall, is sufficient.

“They say they have problems, which we cover with $1.5 billion (on which the sides agreed in late May 2014). And we gave them an additional $1.5 billion. In our view, this is more than enough to cover (losses). This matter will be discussed at the government level,” Shatalov said.

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