Lukashenko threatens to abandon Russian oil
Belarus will abandon Russian oil in favor of oil from other countries if Minsk and Moscow do not reach agreement on the tax maneuver, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.
In August, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill on the final stage of a tax reform, which implies reduction of the oil and oil product export duty by 5% points annually from the current 30% within six years starting from 2019 and raising upstream taxation within three years, the Prime new agency recalls.
For Belarus, the reform will mean a higher price of oil imported from Russia and a lower income from export duties on oil products, as Russia delivers 18 million tonnes of duty-free oil to the Belarusian refineries every year and additional 6 million tonnes participate in a re-export mechanism sending the export duties to Belarus’s budget.
In December, Putin and Lukashenko failed to align their positions on compensation for the Russian tax maneuver.