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14 December 2018, 16:53

Russia denies ‘tax maneuver' compensation to Belarus so far

Igor Lyashenko. An archive photo
Igor Lyashenko. An archive photo

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – Belarus intended to get about $310 million from Russia as compensation for the so-called tax maneuver in 2019, BelTA learned from Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Igor Lyashenko on 14 December.

The official noted that the Belarusian side expected compensation “exactly as large as the tax maneuver”. “With oil prices at $60 per barrel, the sum stands at $310-315 million,” he said. However, the Russian side did not confirm the fact of such a mechanism or the honoring of commitments or compensation. The Russian side refused to discuss the matter and did not offer any alternatives.

Negotiations with Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev took place on 13 December. The meeting revealed that Belarus and Russia have different views on the matter. Igor Lyashenko stressed that the understanding of the matter by the Belarusian side is fair and based on the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, which stipulates that equal conditions are to be created for member states. “If compensation applies only to Russian companies and commitments before us are not observed, if the tax maneuver is implemented, how we, the government, will be able to look into eyes of our citizens?” wondered Igor Lyashenko. This is why emotions run so high as far as the tax maneuver and the compensation are concerned.

Belarus asks nothing and demands nothing, he continued. Belarus believes that all the agreements within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union must be honored as a package. The sides have been negotiating calculations since August but in late November the Russian government changed views for the extreme ones and changed its rhetoric. Igor Lyashenko said he hopes that the sides would be able to come up with a fair solution after all.

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