Russia-Belarus talks on oil transit tariffs fail?

Photo: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Moscow and Minsk have not agreed on tariffs for the transit of Russian oil and oil products via Belarus, TUT.BY reports.

According to state-run news agency BelTA, the talks will resume soon. The official website of the Belarusian Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry has not updated the information on the situation so far.

In particular, in August we agreed we will take a look at the actual amount of products transported in 2019 and the earnings Gomeltransneft Druzhba failed to receive in 2019 due to lower transportation volumes and will take into account these facts as we make plans for 2020. This is why we’ve suggested raising the tariff by the inflation component (just as the guidelines specify) and by the missed volume of earnings in order to compensate for them this year,” BelTA quotes a representative of the Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade Ministry.

There has been some disagreement on the calculations made by JSC Gomeltransneft Druzhba, the source says.

On Monday, a number of Belarusian media reported that the Belarusian authorities were considering the suspension of transporting Russian oil to Europe via the Druzhba pipeline.

Earlier, Belarus suggested the transit tariff be increased by 16.6% in 2020. The Russian company Transneft failed to give its consent to the Belarusian side’s proposal.

As reported earlier, on New Year’s Day Russia stopped supplying oil to refineries of Belarus because Moscow and Minsk had not signed new contracts. Belarusian refineries continued to operate, but capacity utilization was reduced to a minimum technological level. Due to the lack of oil supplies from Russia, Belarus temporarily suspended exports of oil products on January 1.

On January 4, oil supplies to the Belarusian refineries resumed – an agreement was reached with the companies of Russian oligarch Mikhail Gutseriyev, who is a friend of Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. The first batch was purchased at a price that excludes a premium for Russian suppliers (previously, the supply cost was calculated as the market value plus a premium of about $ 10).

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