RIA Novosti reported that Belarusian oil refineries have enough crude oil to operate until late January following the latest suspension of supplies by Russian companies.
Russia introduced duties on crude oil exports to Belarus in 2010 to prevent its ex-Soviet neighbor from 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 tariffs on crude oil supplies to Belarus from January 1 on condition that Belarus returned to Russia all duties received from selling on refined oil.
The agreement was ratified by the Belarusian parliament on December 21 to 22 but Moscow ambassador to Minsk accused Belarus of dragging its feet on the contract a day later. Belarus state controlled Petrochemicals Company Belneftekhim then said it had expected the deal to be initialized after the New Year holidays which ended on January 11.
Ms Marina Kostyuchenko spokeswoman of Belneftekhim said but negotiations on the deal are still ongoing with prices being the main sticking point. She said she had no idea when the treaty would be initialized, but added that the transit of Russian oil to Europe would continue under the normal regime.
(Sourced from RIA Novosti)