Russia to decide on oil supplies to Belarus within week says minister

Russia may decide to resume oil supplies to Belarus within a week, after they were suspended over disagreement over re-export of oil products from Belarus, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Thursday.

"We expect that we will make the decision within a week," Shmatko said.

In 2010, Russia introduced duties on crude oil exports to Belarus to prevent Minsk making profits by re-exporting Russian oil products to the EU.

Under a Russian-Belarusian deal on a common economic space signed in early December 2010, Russia agreed to scrap the tariffs from January 1 on condition that Minsk returned to Russia all duties received from selling refined oil.

The agreement was ratified by the Belarusian parliament on December 21-22, but Moscow's ambassador to Minsk accused Belarus of dragging its feet on the contract a day later. Belneftekhim then said it had expected the deal to be initialized after the New Year holidays, which ended on January 11.

MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti)


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