Russia abolishes oil duties for Belarus, saving us around $4bn

According to Elvira Nabiullina, the Russian Minister for Economic Development, duties on oil supplied from Russia to Belarus are to be abolished

“We’re removing oil customs duties on mutual trade. We’ll supply duty free oil to Belarus but will still collect duties on oil products at the external borders — for the Russian budget,” she explained, as reported by RIA Novosti News Agency. The Russian Minister added that Belarus should save $3.912bn as a result.

Previously, Russia noted that export duties on mutual trade with Belarus could be cancelled only once the Single Economic Space was launched, in 2012. Ms. Nabiullina stresses that the decision on duties will come into operation after it is ratified by Minsk; however, this will be no earlier than January 1st, 2011. Moreover, she notes that the cost of Russian gas for Belarus in 2011 will remain at the previously planned level.

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