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Belarus, Russia come closer to resolving oil, gas issues

Economy 09.12.2019 | 11:48

MINSK, 9 December (BelTA) - Belarus and Russia have come closer to resolving oil and gas issues, Russian Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin told the media after the talks between the presidents of Belarus and Russia in Sochi on 7 December, BelTA has learned.

“Today was a busy day. In fact, we worked very fruitfully on several fronts: agriculture, communications, customs, and oil market regulation. A lot of progress has been made, even on oil and gas. The positions have come significantly closer," the minister said.

According to him, starting Monday experts will begin working actively on the instructions in order “to formulate everything and formalize it in the road maps. Then we will report to the prime ministers, the presidents,” Maksim Oreshkin said.

“We had a small number ofunresolved issues prior to the meetings. Now they are even fewer. We understand how, for the most part, to move forward. We have been given the instructions. Now we will work everything out and move forward," he added.

In early September the prime ministers of Belarus and Russia coordinated a draft program of action to implement the Union State Treaty and a list of road maps. The parties agreed to develop 31 road maps to fulfill this program. On 20 November, Belarusian Ambassador to Russia Vladimir Semashko reported that the parties fully agreed on 21 road maps.

Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Rumas and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev met in Sochi on 6 December. The parties discussed the relevant issues ahead of the talks at the highest level. The two premiers took a look into unresolved issues regarding further integration in the Union State. As of early 6 December, 16 points on the integration road maps were still uncoordinated. The one-on-one meeting was followed by talks with the participation of the government delegations. Taking part in the meeting on Belarus behalf were First Vice Premier Dmitry Krutoi, Vice Premier Igor Lyashenko, Finance Minister Maksim Yermolovich, Energy Minister Viktor Karankevich, Chairman of Belneftekhim Concern Andrei Rybakov and other heads of government bodies.

BelTA reported earlier that the action plan would be a framework document. All important matters will be included into road maps. After road maps are reconciled, the parties will be working on legal documents in 2020. The degree of unification varies in different sectors. The launch of common markets in the main areas is expected on 1 January 2021.

The Belarusian-Russian negotiations in Sochi took place on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Treaty.

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