RIA Novosti reported that Mr Vladimir Semashko Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister criticized Russia proposal to cancel oil export duties for Belarus in exchange for money gained by Minsk from petroleum products re-export calling it the worst option.
Mr Semashko said "This is a last resort, the worst option for Belarus. Maybe it is just a bit better than what we have recently. His comment contradicts a statement made by Belarusian Economy Minister Mr Nikolai Snopkov recently."
Mr Snopkov told reporters that it was impossible for Belarus to turn down Russia proposal which includes a significant increase of duties on petroleum product re-exports. He said that "This is what we have been looking for."
Russia exported more than 21 million tonnes of oil to Belarus last year, but only 5 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes was for domestic consumption. The rest was re-exported after passing through one of the country two oil refineries.
Last December, Mr Igor Sechin Russian Deputy Prime Minister suggested that Belarus could import the domestic volumes duty free, citing brotherly relations between the two countries, leaving the remaining 15 million tons subject to export duties.