Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Miasnikovich and later President Aliaksandr Lukashenka were engaged in the talks on oil delivery. The both were sure that Belarus would gain 23 mln tons of Russian oil next year. But the Russian is driving a hard bargain: they are ready to supply Belarus with only 18 mln, which is 3 tons less that this year.
At the moment the Belarusian delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Siamashka is staying on an official visit in Moscow. It is noteworthy that Mr Siamashka announced a successful conclusion of the oil negotiations in November, 2012, which proved to be greatly exagerrated information.
It is natural that the talks have been tortuous for Minsk because of the solvents case. The Kremlin repeatedly demanded Belarus should repay at least $1.5 billion in losses for oil product export duties that its budget did not receive for exports of Belarusian solvents made from Russian oil. The losses of the Russian state budget amount to appr. $2.5 bn, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Moreover, Russia accuses Belarus of breach of balance obligations in oil products export.
Minsk is in sore need of crude oil supplies so that the state could overcome the currency crisis resulted from the decrease in exports at the end of the year and discharge interests on foreign loans.