Days after Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan effected agreements for a customs union, the two former countries remain at odds over oil and motor vehicles. Belarus demands a lower price on Russian oil, in order to boost earnings from re-export. It also insists on a right to import second-hand cars duty-free. Russia disagrees, with President Dmitry Medvedev advising the Belarusians not to compromise potential social and economic benefits from free trade behind a common customs barrier.
The dispute is going to Monday summits of the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Community in Astana in Kazakhstan.