Russia wants Belarus to give back $1.5 bn

Moscow demanded to repay $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, a government source told news agency PRIME.
“Russia suggested that Belarus repay the duties that were not received by the Russian budget from export of solvents, diluents, lubricants,” the source said.
Last week the talks on the issue were held, the Belarusian side being represented by Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Siamashka and Deputy Economy Minister Anatol Filonau.
On October 26, 2012 Russian Prime Minister Arkadiy Dvorkovich stated that Russia and Belarus were negotiating the volume of oil exports for the period from 2012 to 2013 and law amendments which prevent Belarus from solvents’ exporting.
Belarus imports oil from Russia duty-free but has to redeem duties earned on oil products when exporting them to a third country with the exception of a group of products, such as solvents and diluents. Russia has previously expressed concerns that Belarus could be avoiding duty payments by declaring the supplies as solvents. Aiming at restoring the partner’s confidence in mid-September Belarusian PM Mikhail Miasnikovich announced one-month suspension of solvents export.
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