Belarus May Abandon Russian Oil
OREANDA-NEWS Minsk will be forced to abandon the purchase of Russian oil, if the parties can not reach an agreement on compensation in connection with the tax maneuver in the Russian fuel and energy complex. This was stated by President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko at a meeting with representatives of Belarusian and foreign media.
Lukashenko noted that this year the losses of the Belarusian budget from the tax maneuver will amount to 400 million dollars. At the same time, the politician expressed confidence that Minsk will cope with these difficulties.
"Survive. In November, we will finish the modernization of our plants, and we will buy oil from the outside," Lukashenko said. According to him, after the modernization of its refineries, the depth of oil refining will be up to 95%, "as in European plants."
Disputes in the oil and gas sector between Moscow and Minsk escalated in December last year. Minsk's discontent was caused by a tax maneuver in the Russian oil industry, because of which Russian oil will be supplied to Belarus at world prices.
In early January, Lukashenko threatened that Russia could lose its only ally in the Western direction, Belarus, if it refused to compensate the costs. At the same time, the politician stressed that earning an additional $400 million is "not a problem" for Minsk.
In Russia, a tax maneuver is planned for 2019-2024, that is, a gradual zeroing of the export duty on oil and an increase in the rate of met.
Additional costs for Belarus arise from the expected increase in the price of Russian oil and lower export duties on petroleum products. Minsk estimated its losses for six years at $ 11 billion.
In January, Lukashenko said that if Moscow refuses to compensate Minsk for losses from the tax maneuver, it may lose Belarus as its ally.