Moscow wants Minsk to reimburse it for solvents

Picture by De Les /

Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev intends to discuss with Syarhei Rumas the export of petroleum products, said a spokesman for the Russian Prime Minister Oleg Osipov, reports.

The topic of solvents that were activelyexported by Belarus 2011-2012 was raised by the Russian side against the background of Minsk’s damage claims for the supplies of polluted oil to Belarus.

“It is also planned to touch upon problematic issues relating to the supply of oil through the Druzhba pipeline, as well as the debt of Belarus that arose during the implementation of the illegal scheme with deliveries of so-called solvents,” said the Russian government spokesman Oleg Osipov.

The meeting between Medvedev and Rumas is scheduled for May 24 in Moscow.

“There will be discussed a set of issues related to the integration process, the state of trade and economic relations between our countries,” Osipov added.

Back in 2012, the Russian government announced that Belarus was smuggling Russian oil products. Under the guise of solvents and other petroleum products, Minsk exported more products from raw materials than it could make. Then Belarus transferred to the Russian budget export duties on oil products in exchange for the supply of duty-free oil. Chemical products (solvents and complex organic solvents and lubricants) were not included in the list of petroleum products, export duties from the sale of which were to be transferred to the Russian budget. The bulk of the solvent’s supplied from Belarus went to Latvia and the Netherlands.

The Russian side estimates the loss for its budget at the level of 700 million to 2 billion dollars.

The Belarusian side strongly denied the presence of gray schemes in the exports of petroleum products and reminded Moscow that in 2011 it transferred substantial money to the Russian budget at the level of $ 3 billion.

In September 2012, Belarus completely stopped exporting solvents.

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