Agreement on distribution of oil and petroleum products within Belarusian-Russian Union State will not be signed on Wednesday
10 декабря 2012, 20:04
An agreement will not be signed during a meeting of its Council of Ministers in Moscow on December 12, Grigory Rapota, state secretary of the Union State, told reporters in Minsk on December 10.
The agreement is not ready at present, but it will still be discussed, Mr. Rapota said.
There are 33 items on the agenda of the meeting, including the Union State budget in 2013, organizational issues and joint programs, he said.
Belarusian Deputy Energy Minister Mikhail Mikhadzyuk said in October that the Union State's fuel and energy distribution estimates were expected to be adopted during the meeting.
It was earlier reported that Belarus would receive 18.5 million tons of Russian crude oil in 2013 and supply 2.1 million tons of petroleum products to Russia.
When petroleum products made from Russian oil are exported outside the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, Belarus is required to transfer the amount it collects in export duty to Russia. The duty rate for the export of gasoline is currently $377 per ton.
Russian officials have repeatedly expressed concern about a dramatic increase in the export of solvents from Belarus, saying that Belarus may be exporting diesel fuel and other petroleum products under the guise of solvents, diluents and lubricants in order to avoid transferring the export duties it collects to Russia.
Russia's Federal Customs Service reported that Belarus' export of solvents and diluents had jumped 8.6-fold from 242,000 tons in 2010 to 2,073,000 tons in 2011, whereas Russia had exported only 16,900 tons.
According to official data, in the first half of 2012, the export of solvents and diluents increased 4.9-fold year-on-year and that of lubricants 47 times.
Belarusian government officials insist that the export of solvents and lubricant was ended in August.
According to Russian news agencies, Moscow demanded that Belarus pay $1.5 billion to compensate Russia for its "losses."