16.11.2012 / 08:52

Miasnikovich: Belarus Will Not Return Underpaid Duty from Solvents

Belarus does not agree to transfer $1.5 billion to the Russian budget as compensation for its alleged move to export diesel fuel made of Russian crude under the guise of solvents, diluents and lubricants, Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich told reporters in Minsk on November 15.

Miasnikovich said that Belarus had not broken any rules and did not owe anything to Russia.

Reproaching us for failure to pay something in full betrays the incompetence of those who say about that. We work correctly, meet all obligations, and even if something has not been settled, that does not mean that we must be reproached and that alleged losses of expected gain must be calculated, he stressed.

Integration between countries implies concessions to each other, Miasnikovich said.

Russian government officials suggested in October that Belarus pay the amount to the Russian budget.

Russia has suggested returning to the Russian budget the duties that it did not receive because of Belarus' exports of solvents, diluents, lubricants, etc., PRIME-TASS quotes Miasnikovich as saying.

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. No export duty is levied on solvents, diluents and lubricants.

Russian officials have repeatedly expressed concern about a dramatic increase in the export of solvents from Belarus this year, saying that Belarus may be exporting diesel fuel disguised as solvents, diluents and lubricants in order to avoid transferring the export duties it collects to Russia.

Speaking on Thursday, Miasnikovich said that some five million tons of Russian oil would be supplied to Belarus in November and December. He added that there are certain technical issues but they are not detrimental to Belarus and can be solved.

He warned against dramatizing these things and said that he discussed oil deliveries to Belarus in the fourth quarter of this year with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, earlier this month.

Russia said earlier this month that it would supply 4.7 million tons of crude oil to Belarus in the fourth quarter.

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