Minsk Hopes Russian Oil Delivery Terms Will Be Approved Before Year End

MINSK. Dec 4 (Interfax) - The lack of documented terms of agreement for the supply of Russian oil in 2010 is not a reason to worry, said Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov.

"There is still enough time, I think, we will reach a deal," Kobyakov said on Friday, responding to a question posed by Interfax about an agreement on the Russian oil delivery conditions.

Separate talks are due to be held on this matter, he said, commenting on a statement by Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko who linked the continuation of the favorable oil delivery conditions for Belarus with Russian companies' entry into the Belarusian oil infrastructure capital.

"A working group led by Vladimir Semashko and Igor Sechin is holding active consultations," Kobyakov said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is due to arrive in Belarus very soon to hold direct talks about the possible participation by Russian companies in the privatization of the Belarusian oil facilities, he said.

"The parties must agree [on the Russian oil delivery terms before the end of 2009] as such is the will of the heads of state," Kobyakov said.

With regard to Russian oil export duties in Belarus under the Customs Union conditions, "the matter will be resolved before July 1, 2010, as agreed by the heads of state," Kobyakov said.

The matter will be addressed in package with the Customs Union single area operating terms, he added.

The distribution of import customs duties is the key unresolved issue in determining conditions for the single customs area, Kobyakov said.

The Parties will work out a respective mechanism that will be launched on a trial basis from April 1, 2010, he said.


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