Lukashenka agrees to sign Eurasian Economic Union treaty in return for $2 bn loan, oil supplies


Belarus has struck a deal with Russia regarding oil supplies that will meet the country’s full demand; export duties on oil products will be gradually lifted, Russia is to transfer $2 bn loan to Belarus, President Aliaksandr Lukashenka made the statement on May, 9.

“We have dealt with natural gas supplies for a decade in advance although the matter had been settled earlier. What’s more important: Belarus will get as much oil as we would like to get including prospects of getting more if we need it. For now 23 million tonnes per annum is enough for us to keep the oil refineries busy,” news agency BelTA quotes the head of state as saying.

According to Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Belarus and Russia have also come to terms regarding the gradual annulment of export duties on oil products, which have to be transferred to the Russian state budget for now. “We will gradually lift them. Next year Belarus will keep about half of the sum. As from 2016 I believe we will deal with the second part, too,” he said. “Belarus’ budget will keep about $1.5 billion next year. Roughly the same amount we will transfer to Russia’s budget. As I said, in 2016 we will revise the matter. I am convinced that within two years we will get rid of the duties and will trade in a civilized manner.”

Moreover, in May Russia will transfer $2 billion as a loan to Belarus for the sake of replenishing the gold and foreign exchange reserves, the Belarusian leader states.

“We have agreed that the Russian Federation will transfer $2 billion to us like it had been promised,” he said. Mr Lukashenka stressed that these credit resources will be used to replenish the gold and foreign exchange reserves.

At that, Belarus is not going to block the signing of the treaty to establish the Eurasian Economic Union, the President emphasized. “We are not going to block the signing of this treaty. If we cannot make a leap forward, we should move on in small steps. We believe in it,” he said.

www.belsat.eu/en, via belta.by

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