Warning against Russia’s ‘tax maneuver’: Lukashenka questions EEU expediency for Belarus


Russia’s so-called tax maneuver may become a big problem for the operation of the Eurasian Economic Union, Belarus President Aliaksandr Lukashenka said at a meeting with members of the Council of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on Monday.

The Russian Federation intends to amend its taxation regulations for the oil industry, Russian mass media have recently reported. “Specialists believe that if the amendments are enacted, they will reduce revenues of Belarus’ state budget, worsening the financial and economic situation at Belarusian oil-processing enterprises,” Uladzimir Andreychanka, speaker of the Belarusian parliament, noted.

“You have raised a very important issue concerning the so-called tax maneuver on the part of the Russian Federation. It is tied to the ratification of our treaty,” said Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

The President stressed that Russia’s tax move would entail considerable financial losses for Belarus. “We have sent a team of specialists led by [First Vice Premier of Belarus] Uladzimir Siamashka, who is in the relevant negotiations. If the Russian Federation makes this step, it will become a very large problem for the operation of the current union. First, because we agreed on different things. Second, if some actions are taken in one area, then compensation is in order in another area. It is a considerable sum of money that we cannot afford losing,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Aliaksandr Lukashenka as saying.

“If we are rebuked, then let’s do the following. We set out to create the Customs Union, then the Eurasian Union. Let’s build it using the classic principle. We lose something, Russia and Kazakhstan lose something. But this organization in its classic way doesn’t tolerate any exemptions and restrictions,” he said. “It is understandable that it is unprofitable for someone. Many things are unprofitable for someone. But we have agreed on these terms and they must be observed. It is our view,” Lukashenka added.

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The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia was signed in Astana on 29 May. The document was signed by Presidents Aliaksandr Lukashenka, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Vladimir Putin.

The Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union will come into force on the Customs Union territory on January 1, 2015.The 700-page treaty deepens the economic ties forged when the three countries created the Customs Union in 2010. It provides for the free movement of goods, services, capital and workforce within the bloc, and for coordinated policies in economic sectors.

www.belsat.eu/en, following BelTA

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