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Belarus wants to buy up to 24mln tonnes of Russian oil in 2020 - deputy PM

According to Igor Lyashnko, the Belarusian side is ready to discuss these matters with Russia

MINSK, November 17. /TASS/. Belarus wants to import up to 24 million tonnes of oil from Russia in 2020, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko said on Sunday.

"Our traditional balance is 24 million tonnes of oil a year. We are ready to take it, if the Russian side agrees," BelTA agency quoted him as saying.

According to Lyashnko, the Belarusian side is ready to discuss these matters with Russia. "We are ready to work in a range from 18 million to 24 million tonnes depending on the compensation regimes," he said, adding that the sides so far had been failing to reach a compromise on the compensation of Belarus’ losses from the tax maneuver in Russia’s oil sector.

"We have laid bare our conditions and they are fair," the Belarusian deputy prime minister noted.

Belarus and Russia are currently in negotiations on key cooperation issues. The tax maneuver in the Russian oil sector is among the disputable matters. Belarus wants compensation for its losses from the worsening oil trade conditions. In response, Russia offered to strengthen integration in line with the Union State Treaty of 1999.

Belarus’ extra expenses stem from the expected growth of price for Russian oil and decrease in export duties on oil products. Minsk estimates its aggregate losses over six years at a sum of 11 billion US dollars, and at 400 million US dollars in 2019, with the oil price of 70 US dollars per barrel.