ST PETERSBURG, 16 July (BelTA) – Problems with the compensation for the tax maneuver, natural gas pricing, and the export of Belarusian products are the main issues in Belarusian-Russian relations, BelTA learned from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Russia Vladimir Semashko on 16 July.
The diplomat said: “I would like to mention four problems we have to resolve: the compensation for the tax maneuver, natural gas pricing, the promotion of our meat and dairy products, and the promotion of industrial products. These are top-priority tasks we have to accomplish within the framework of the effective agreements of the Union State of Belarus and Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union.”
The ambassador believes that Belarus and Russia are capable of greatly increasing the mutual trade turnover. The current figure does not satisfy Belarus right now despite its growth. In 2018 Belarus-Russia trade rose by 9.4% in comparison with 2017, however, the trade turnover growth was fueled primarily by import from Russia.
“On the one hand, prices for oil and natural gas have increased, we are now discussing the matter. If we are part of the Union State of Belarus and Russia, the prices should be close to each other, however, the price we pay is twice as large as that in Smolensk Oblast. On the other hand, we should more actively promote our own products. Our manufacturers are to blame and there are certain barriers that disallow competition on an equal footing. We are trying to resolve the problem as part of the work on the program on implementing the Union State Treaty, it is one of the key problems,” the diplomat added.
Vladimir Semashko stressed that Russia was, is, and will be the main market for Belarus. “However, its share in our export is not the 53-55% it was 10-15 years ago. It was 38.8% in 2018 and yet it is a lot,” he remarked.More about Politics