Aleksandr Lukashenko hears out report from Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich

    President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich to receive his report on 2 October.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that in a few days Minsk will play host to the session of the CIS heads of state. He was interested in the government’s position on a number of issues.

    “But the main thing is the proposal of the Russian Federation on the simultaneous exchange of ratification instruments on the Eurasian Economic Union,” the Belarusian head of state said.

    “Last year we agreed in principle what Belarus will get from the concessions in the economic union. As is known, Russia is undertaking some tax maneuver that might render null everything we agreed on with the Russian Federation last year. This pertains to the transfer to the Russian budget of duties on oil products levied on the border. As far as I know, talks are underway to sort it out, and this matter has to be sorted out,” the President said.

    “It is not okay: the agreements that have just been enacted are being annulled. As a result Belarus may lose a tremendous amount of money, over $1 billion,” the President remarked. Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the Preme Minister about the progress in talks on this problem.

    The President also spoke about the state budget. “We have agreed that on 1 October the budget should be set and the budget bill should be submitted to the Parliament for discussion. How are things on this front?” the head of state wondered.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko also touched upon the forthcoming official visit of the Turkmenistan President to Belarus.

    Mikhail Myasnikovich, for his part, said that the agenda of the CIS summit has been worked out already.

    Speaking about the tax maneuver of Russia, the Belarusian prime Minister said that the Russian side was working on the issue in the closed regime. The Belarusian side has put forward proposals concerning the way outs from this situation. In particular, Belarus suggested making certain amendments to the agreement on the transfer of duties from the export of oil products to the budgets of the sides. Belarus suggests transferring export duties on oil products produced from Russian oil to the Belarusian budget. Mikhail Myasnikovich believes that that this will compensate for the losses Belarus will incur as a result of Russia’s tax maneuver. “We do not link it to the $1.5 billion in duties that we agreed to keep in the Belarusian budget,” he added.

    “I believe that Belarus and Russia will be able to come to terms; however the government of the Russian Federation has not come up with possible solutions yet. I have sent a letter to Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev. We have not received an answer yet,” the Belarusian Prime Minister said.

    First Deputy Premier of Belarus Vladimir Semashko will meet with Russia’s Deputy Premier Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday, 3 October.

    Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that the entire situation affects the budgeting process in Belarus. In his words, the government has almost finished elaborating the country’s social and economic development targets and the 2015 budget. The documents were submitted to the Parliament for consideration.