Russian, Belarusian leaders to discuss oil export duty

MOSCOW, Apr. 3, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko will hold talks over the oil export duty issue, said Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov Saturday.

Shuvalov, who met with Lukashenko on Friday in Minsk concerning the issue, told Russia's Interfax news agency that "experts will be working on preparing for the presidents' meeting, where this issue will be addressed in more detail."

"We are preparing for an upcoming visit by the Belarusian president to Russia," he added.

During Friday's meeting, Lukashenko expected both sides could reach agreement on specific matters as soon as possible, while Shuvalov said the two countries would continue their relevant negotiations in Moscow.

Belarusian Ministry of Justice on March 25 filed a lawsuit to the Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) against Russia over the export duty imposed on oil products supplied to Belarus since Jan. 1, 2010.

Minsk claimed that the export duties for the Russian crude oil and petrochemical products confronted with bilateral agreements, but Moscow insisted that the duties were in accordance with Russian laws.


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