Khristenko thinks unlawful relations between Russian oil companies and Belarussian refineries

Vice-Premier of the Russian government Victor Khristenko believes that the current relations which exist between Russian oil companies and Belarussian oil refineries are outside the four corners of law and contradict the idea of building up a union of the two states.

Khristenko said this on Thursday in a comment on a recent decision of the Belarussian authorities regarding oil supplies. Under it, all suppliers of oil to Belarus for each tonne of oil refined here have, along paying taxes, to pass for free 27 kilogrammes of fuel oil for use in agriculture.

Such serious processes as the bringing closer together and unification of tariffs on gas, railway carriage and fuels now under way between Belarus and Russia should also involve oil refining, said the vice-premier.

Khristenko maintains that this, in the first place, should go for the legislation on taxing oil refining in Belarus. Now this legislation in Belarus is "worse" than in Russia, he stressed.

Khristenko also recalled that the capacities of pipeline transport for the shipment of oil to be refined in Belarus are wholly in line with the coordinated target for this year -- between 13.5 and 16 million tonnes.

The vice-premier believes that the economic agencies of Russia and Belarus should work hard to unify this legislation.

"We cannot force Russian oilmen on their own account to keep up oil supplies at a time when the Belarussian leadership takes such outstanding decisions", noted Khristenko.

He said that problems with oil refining in Belarus emerged on July 1, after Russia fixed the principle of equal access for oil companies to the export of oil to foreign countries and republics of the former USSR.

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