Home / Oil / Minsk loses Moscow

Minsk loses Moscow

Минск теряет Москву

June 2016 may be a watershed month in Russian-Belarusian relations. Visited June 7-8, 2016 Minsk to participate in the Third forum of regions of Russia and Belarus, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to consider the problem of the gas debt of the Republic at the presidential level, noting that it should be resolved at the level of heads of economic entities and Ministers of the two countries.

Pro-Western and state media of Belarus accepted the gesture of the Russian leadership as a victory of the official Minsk. However, the ensuing reaction of the Russian side says the opposite.

First, on June 16, Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the reduction of duty-free Russian oil supplies to Belarus in the third quarter to 2.25 million tons compared to the previously established schedule associated with the non-payment of gas and short supply of petroleum products to Russia. As a result, 1.2 million tons will be redirected to other countries via Russian ports on the Baltic sea, another 1.05 million tons will be transit on the oil pipeline “Friendship”. Then on 18 June, the Chairman of the Board “Gazprom” Alexey Miller said the lack of debt for supplied Russian gas from Belarus.

Thus the Russian officials and the head of “Gazprom” fulfilled the order of the President of the country. The point is, remain in the Republic the volume of oil in the price (dollar) terms, commensurate with the Belarusian debt for gas ($250 million). Moreover, that is not a Freeloader Moscow: Russia was in 2016 to put to Belarus of 24 million tons of duty-free oil received in response to 1 million tons of oil (250 thousand tons in the quarter). But, according to the energy Ministry, in the first quarter received only 89 thousand tons, and in the second — nothing. By agreement of the parties, if Minsk does not fulfill the obligations under the petroleum products of the Russian Federation may reduce the supply of oil (five times the volume of short delivery of petroleum products).

This is all the more significant that in the first quarter, revenues from customs duties on petroleum products amounted to only 140 million dollars in annual plan of 1.1 billion dollars. I.e. Belarus has received less for two quarters of 2016 270 million dollars of Neftepolis. If in the third quarter Russia will cut oil supply by 2.25 million tons, almost 10% of the annual plan in the third quarter of the loss of the Belarusian budget will not amount to 135 million dollars, 235 million dollars.

What are the specifics encountered in June in the Russian-Belarusian relations situation. Moscow for the first time in recent years went to the principle and turned the conversation from officially-contract channel, where Minsk had much more advantages in the conversation “on concepts”: we don’t pay for gas, we neopositivism oil. The attempts of Belarusian officials in one case (gas) to talk with the Russian side on “concepts”, and in the oil – in line with the official arrangements, will be easily rejected by the Russian side, as, than, but the second is a conceptual thesaurus of the Russian side has a much better than the official Minsk.

The decision of Russian President Vladimir Putin says three things. First, the exhaustion of the Belarusian contractual engagements and pettiness. 200-250 million dollars on the background of billions of questions that are in the daily mode decides Russia is nothing, the level of the Governor, if not already below. But if this is the level of the Governor-Minister to Russia, and to solve these issues with the official Minsk should be people of that level. Not a President’s business to decide questions of a couple of hundred million dollars. And official Minsk is shown to more with such petty issues is not even addressed.

Secondly, that the official Minsk is losing equal status and equal partner. And this is very important. To talk on equal terms only with those who are respected. If no respect, then the conversation will not. It is an alarm bell for the official Minsk.

The fact that the official Minsk stand on the presidential level, the gubernatorial issues of importance speaks to the fact that the Republic really is in terms of economic potential and importance moved Russia from the category of Federal district in the category of province. It’s more just talking about what is happening in the Republic as the degradation of control systems and economy. And this can not but cause concern in Moscow.

Thirdly, the actions of the official Minsk he knocks the Board a formal and contractual relationships, a finding which alone guarantees to the Republic’s economic potential which is a hundred times smaller than the Russian, the equality of relations with Moscow. His behavior, Putin has shown – you want this (conversation concepts), well, so be it. Then no offense. And left.

Based on the foregoing, return to the plane of the official and contractual relationships with Russia, the unconditional implementation of the concluded agreements and treaties – the main task of the official Minsk for the next three months to usher in the winter without major financial and economic problems. Although, judging by the coming from the Republic of information that in some regions the average wage is around 150 dollars, there is great concern that the Republic’s authorities have lost control over situation in the economy, if the amount of 200-250 million dollars is a problem for the Republican budget and shall be submitted to the presidential level.

Check Also

Coalition forces the US to attack oil tankers in Syria

Forces under the leadership of the United States blew up three oil tankers in Syria, …