Updated at 17:20,15-01-2020

Solvents case: Minsk tries to get out of deadlock


The Belarusian Ministry of Finance has an intention to impose export duty on oil products behind hand, i.e. as if it was put in to effect on January 1, 2012, a representative of Mozyr oil-refining plant told news agency Interfax.

There is every likelihood that it is the way which the Belarusian authorities has chosen aiming at settling accounts with Russia for its shadow export of solvents.

As a result, the expenses will be pinned on country’s oil refining plants, the interviewee said. The duty amounts to $20 per ton of produced and exported oil products which may be equal to $282 mln for the nine-month period. Later the duties for the last three month of 2012 will be added.

The decision is sure to dissatisfy Russian shareholders of Belarusian oil-refining plants, the source of Interfax stressed. "If the document is adopted, Slavneft might well take measures which will be ugly for our state," he said.

But t is wrong time now to carry such decision into effect. As it became known yesterday, official Minsk suffered a setback at the negotiations on oil deliveries: Russia will provide only 18 mln tons instead of desired 23 mln. Meanwhile, the Belarusian government hopes for reviving a dialogue and delivery expansion.

But only a fraction of Russian expenses will be covered by the duties: the losses of the Russian state budget amount to appr. $2.5 bn, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in his interview to business daily Vedomosti last week.