MINSK, February 6. /TASS/. Belarus lost about $330 mln in 2019 due to a tax maneuver in Russia, Belarusian Prime Minister Sergey Rumas said at a meeting with the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday, BelTA agency reported.
"In 2019, Belarus’ losses totaled about $330 mln, including budget losses amounting to $130 mln, losses of oil refineries amounting to almost $200 mln," Rumas said as quoted by BelTA.
On Thursday, Alexander Lukashenko convened a meeting on the work of the country's energy complex on the eve of his visit to Sochi. He stated the need to discuss a number of measures to achieve forecast indicators, to overcome the negative trends that have emerged in the economy due to recent events in the world, including disagreements with Russia.
Currently, Minsk wants Moscow to compensate for losses it suffers due to worsened oil trade conditions, and Moscow in response proposes to deepen integration in accordance with the 1999 Union State Treaty.
Belarus’ Finance Ministry previously estimated that budget losses from the implementation of the tax maneuver in Russia in 2019 could amount to about $400 mln.
Following the results of negotiations between Presidents Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin in December 2019 in Sochi, the Belarusian ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko said that the issue of compensation could be completely resolved after the unification of the tax laws of the two countries. But in order to prevent further deterioration of the situation for Belarusian refineries in the next two years, the authorities of the two countries have found options that will partially offset the losses of the Belarusian side from the 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.