A Single economic space will boost the development of all its participants -Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russia's PM Vladimir Putin stated during talks with his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich on Thursday. A trip to Moscow was the first foreign visit of the new Belarusian premier.
The parties began with oil talks. No deals on supplying Russian oil to Belarus have been signed yet and Minsk hoped for duty-free exports beginning from January 1. This was agreed when forming the single economic space and Belarus has all documents for its legal basis ready. Now it's Russia's and Kazakhstan's turn. Putin pledged that everything will be done as soon as possible
"Russia's government took an obligation to lift all export duties on crude oil after Belarus signs and ratifies the package of documents. Russia fulfilled its obligations and removed all the customs duties. "
Moscow is interested in Belarus' profit and we try to compensate for all the losses. Thus, Minsk will get subsidies and earn more than 4 bn dollars on duties removal. The PMs haven't discussed oil prices, but this will be done soon.
The leaders said that the single economic space is a large-scale project giving its members more opportunities for development and increasing their competitiveness.
"We realize that a powerful regional market will be a real growth factor for the countries' development. This is proved by the Customs Union experience, thus it was decided to reinforce the formation of the single economic space to enter a new level of integration. "
The parties also talked gas. Russia will supply the fuel for the prices stipulated by the current contract which expires in late 2011. However, Moscow is ready for a compromise and Putin pledged state support if it is needed not to burden the Belarusian budget.