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27 February 2020, 12:36

Government officials accused of misinterpreting Lukashenko-Putin agreements

Mikhail Myasnikovich
Mikhail Myasnikovich

MINSK, 27 February (BelTA) – Ministers interpret the recent agreements on oil supplies between Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Russia Vladimir Putin in their own way. The Belarusian head of state made the relevant statement as he met with Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Mikhail Myasnikovich on 27 February, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We've just come to an agreement with Putin that they will compensate us for the reduced export duty at the expense of premiums or something else. It is up to them to decide. For instance, if we received $1 billion thanks to the export duty last year and receive only $700 million today, then Russia will compensate us $300 million. But in the evening the ministers present their own take on our agreements – agreements between two heads of state. I took the record of the conversation and it clearly states that an agreement has been reached that we will be compensated the difference. In other words, we will be at last year's level in terms of finance. But it doesn't happen. What kind of a union is that?”

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Mikhail Myasnikovich
Aleksandr Lukashenko and Mikhail Myasnikovich

Aleksandr Lukashenko also reminded that for no good reason Russian companies had insisted on getting paid an additional premium in the course of oil supplies to Belarus. “They wanted to sell us oil at the global price but wanted us to pay them a premium for every tonne. But premiums are usually paid to buyers. If we buy your product, motivate us, give us the premium. No. Why? Because there are no normal rules. There is only the rule of force, the rule of forcing someone to do their bidding. It is not normal. And then there are attacks in mass media every day: Lukashenko wants something. But I don't want anything already except for what we've agreed on,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke about prices for the natural gas Belarus buys from Russia. “They say $127 per 1,000m3 is a good price. Do you know how much Poland now pays for American gas that needs to be liquefied, transported all the way here, re-gasified, and pumped by pipeline? $90!” the president said.

“We ask Russians to sell us gas on last year's terms just as they suggested. Last year taking into account the oil ‘recustoms' procedure [the practice was stopped in 2020, which is why Belarus' budget loses considerable amounts of money] the price was $110-111. They say no, pay us $127. Natural gas is already traded below $100 on the commodity exchange. Is it normal? Are they forcing us to get integrated?” the head of state said.

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