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01 March 2019, 15:57

Impact of Russia's tax maneuver on Belarusian economy seen as exaggerated

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) – The impact of the tax maneuver in Russia's oil industry on the Belarusian economy is exaggerated, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with community leaders, experts, Belarusian and foreign media on 1 March, BelTA has learned.

“Indeed, we overstate the pressure of the tax maneuvers in Russia on the Belarusian economy,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that in Sochi he and Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the tax maneuver issue “only in the context of the things we should never do if we want to maintain the balance of our relations.” “When we were going through these issues, we had a full understanding. I said back then that if Russia was having any problems, difficulty with money and stuff, well, we would not raise the issue of the tax maneuver. We would not if it is difficult for Russia,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president recalled that the tax maneuver in the oil industry in Russia will cost Belarus about $400 million this year. “With the GDP at more than $50 billion I think we will survive it somehow,” he said. Additional expenses due to the tax maneuver have amounted to $3.4 billion since 2015.

“When we were discussing the Eurasian Economic Union, especially the advanced integration within the Union State of Belarus and Russia, we did not ask for cheap gas and oil. We agreed that our people and our enterprises will work in equal conditions. This is the cornerstone of our agreements. We would never sign any agreements to the detriment of the Belarusian economy. The union means equal conditions,” the head of state said.

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